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6 tips for a healthier new year

We all have good intentions to start a new year, however, more often than not, events out of our control can derail these plans. If you haven’t started your fitness journey yet, it's ok. Remember, the best time to start was yesterday, the next best time is now. Becoming healthier is all about creating healthier habits and routines. Here are some tips to help you create a lifelong healthier lifestyle:

1. Set clear goals.

When setting goals, remember, a goal should move you towards something you want, rather than away from something you don’t want. Energy flows where attention goes so put your attention on what you want instead of what you don’t. Be very specific. Don’t say I want to be fitter, maybe I want to be able to do 5 push-ups by the end of the month, or I want to complete at least 6 KBF50 classes in a month. And make sure your goals are reasonable and doable too.

2. Don't make several major changes at once. Make small to moderate changes.

Slow is fast. We all know that we need to make changes to see results. However, you should prioritise your self-improvement goals. It's just like learning to do anything, you start with small, easy and achievable steps before getting to big steps. Sudden and big changes require much more effort which can lead to resistance to restart when things do not go according to plan. And we all know, it's part of life, every plan has little hiccups. Therefore, it is better to not put yourself into those situations where you get resistance to start something again.

3. Find something you love or at least like to do to keep fit.

We know fitness is hard. Staying active is hard when you have so many other things in life that need your attention and time. And in most cases when fitness routines fail, it is because you forced yourself to do something you don’t really like. When you don’t like what you do, you rely on your motivation, and when motivation is gone, you don't have anything to keep you going. So find a sport, a type of exercise you enjoy. Walk/run if you like to be outdoors. Go to the gym if you like working on the machine and lifting weights, go to a group class for dancing, boxing or yoga. Whatever that doesn’t give you a dread feeling when it comes to ticking the box.

4. Consistency is the key. Keep the momentum going.

When your goals are achievable and you smash them, great; keep going. Don’t add more changes. Maintaining it first, make it become natural before pushing for the next step. Life should flow well, and not always be a struggle to stick with your fitness and healthy lifestyle journey. You also don’t want to risk pushing too much and quit and fall back into old habits. Being steady and consistent requires patience but the results are long-lasting.

5. Get yourself in the right crowd.

A supportive and understanding surrounding is important when you are creating new habits and changing your lifestyle. It’s tough to change, and not everyone is up for it, therefore, you won’t always get the support you need from those who don’t want to change. The best thing you can do is spend time with people who inspire you to make positive choices. When you surround yourself with peers who celebrate your success.

6. Be gentle with yourself and celebrate small successes.

It's not an easy task to change, therefore, if you lose momentum or don't succeed at first, don’t beat yourself up. Instead, recognize the reason why and be grateful you have noticed that you fell back into the old habits. Just simply dust yourself off, refocus, get back on track and continue with the plan.

And remember, your health journey is very personal. It's yours and only yours. Therefore, there is no 'one-size-fits-all' approach. Reflect on your journey and make necessary adjustments. You will get there eventually.

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