As we approach autumn the year gets busier and a normal routine for the year is in full swing. It is at this point that your health, both physical and mental, will either be positively promoted or gradually neglected. By now New Year’s resolutions for weight loss and fitness have either really taken hold or they have simply begun to die.
Which one are you? Did you start off with good intentions all those weeks ago? Did you act on them and are still being healthy? Did you feel a surge of inspiration to get started, but never followed through?
When it comes to healthy living it’s never too late to start. All you need to do is take on some healthy habits and maintain them. To be successful, you need to combine a little discipline with a never say die attitude and practise some health basics, instead of taking on a huge lifestyle overhaul.

Practical tips for starting afresh — health basics

1. Practise

Healthy habits will only work for you if you practise them and do them more days than not for the whole year. If you can accept that you’ll be on your way. If not, you’ll be looking for a solution until next year.

2. Pick three

Pick three simple healthy habits and start them. This is highly effective for two reasons — it is not too overwhelming, and three habits are enough to cover the essentials for your physical and mental health this year.
For example, try sticking to some of these: “I will eat five to eight serves of vegetables every day”, or “I will pack two meals to take to work and avoid takeaway on weekdays”; “I will drink an extra litre of drink water every day”; “I will walk every day, no matter how lazy I feel”.

3. Be grateful

When we think of healthy living, we often only think about diet and exercise. However, if you are trying to improve your physical health, you need to recognise this is intrinsically connected to your mental and emotional state. So to help make the traditional healthy habits of diet and exercise stick, start practising mind and mood promotion exercises too.
A very effective exercise is writing down three things that make you feel grateful. The value in this gratitude exercise is it will build a habit of seeing the silver lining instead of criticising yourself, buffer against depression and allow you to see the progress you are making, no matter how small.
My clients who’ve achieved the greatest results are also the ones who have done this successfully, because it takes self-awareness and that small amount of discipline needed for any transformation.

4. Just do it

You might be reading this and thinking “that’s a good idea” or “yeah, I’ve heard that before somewhere”.
If you leave it at that, your healthy living probably won’t happen. Only practised habits will continue, so either make new ones or don’t.
These suggestions are easy and take the smallest amount of discipline to complete. You won’t waste your time and you’ll see healthy results much faster than looking for or delaying a solution. ☐

Rob’s four tips for better health

Rob Smith is a Master Level 1 Personal Trainer and BPsych (Honours). He loves helping people with their fitness transformations and self-development. He operates Outdoor Fitness at Castle Glen Reserve, Castle Hill and Personal Training in Glenhaven.