New Year, new you – let’s make 2020 Somerset’s healthiest year yet

This New Year, our health leaders would like you to consider your health and wellbeing when making your resolutions.

For many people, January can be a challenging time of year; Christmas has been and gone, many mince pies, Christmas dinners and sweets have been eaten (perhaps some alcohol has been drunk as well) and we might be feeling a little bit like a Christmas turkey – overstuffed! Then before you know it, the New Year is here and along with it the expectation to make a resolution.

Dr Andrew Tresidder, GP Safety Lead at Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group said: “While it’s a good idea to make an effort to be healthy in the New Year, it’s important to be realistic with your expectations. For example, if your goal is to lose weight, don’t be too hard on yourself if you don’t see instant results after starting regular gym sessions; it can take time for healthy lifestyle changes to manifest and it can take longer for some than it can for others. You should take pride in the fact that you are going out and making an effort to get fit, rather than get too concerned about what the scales say. If you find something to be grateful for each day, and congratulate yourself on small achievements, this helps fill your brain with positive neurotransmitters. An attitude of gratitude helps the world go around!”

“It’s also important to remember that your resolution should be sustainable – it’s no good making a resolution that isn’t easy to keep up past January as this will more likely lead to you giving up altogether. It’s better to be realistic with your goals and set yourself something that you know you will be able to achieve (but isn’t too easy, either). It’s also better to be specific, so rather than say ‘I’m going to eat healthier’ say ‘I’m going to eat 5 portions of fruit or veg every day’ or ‘I’m going to reduce my alcohol intake by 5 units a week’).”

It is also very important to remain motivated when making positive changes to your lifestyle, so that they become permanent. Everyone is different, but here are some examples:

  1. Do your resolution with a friend or family member – you can motivate each other to keep it up and celebrate your successes together
  2. Keep track of your progress – Use a health app on your phone or a wearable device to see information relating to your activity
  3. Use social media – You might find that there are lots of other people who have made the same resolution as you; sharing your experiences with each other could be a great way to keep motivated
  4. Don’t be too hard on yourself – Everyone slips up now and then, the important thing is to keep going!
  5. Small steps can lead to big changes – Don’t try to do it all on day one. For example, if you don’t normally run don’t try and do a 10k straight away, it’s better to work your way up to it.

  Good luck with your resolutions and Happy New Year!