‘New Year, New You’

Read what our award winning pharmacist Ade has to say about new years resolutions

“New Year, New Me!” Was this again the resolution as you dusted those running shoes, downloaded a new diet plan (more greens), wheeled the bike out and powered up the treadmill? If by now, though, you feel it’s not going as well as you imagined, please don’t despair, and certainly don’t give up! Research has shown that we place too much emphasis on willpower as a driver for positive changes regarding our physical wellbeing and diet. So let’s share some tips on how to succeed. The most significant factor is, in fact, enjoyment. We are all unconsciously fed images about ideals in body image and good living, even before we consider all the health messaging.

Most of us are rational; we want to do the right things, look and feel better. The wrong ideas about willpower drive us to work to unrealistic timescales/goals for adopting new behavioural patterns and habits. Take diet changes; every time we exercise self-control, we build willpower. Saying no to feasting on threats, especially when no one is watching, makes it easier for you next time. Celebrate all your wins, no matter how small. Research shows that immediate rewards from new habits help us stick to them. It is a big step in the right direction for you. Focus on developing good habits rather than just meeting set goals.

Count steps and keep increasing them. Drink more water and aim to eat at least five portions of fruits. Don’t just be focused on counting calories and the bathroom scale dial. Keep things fun and achievable. Self-criticism is linked to less motivation and poorer self-control. Be supportive of yourself and others. Learn from books and examples but remember that you are a unique individual.

Find your preference, whether it’s doing activities in the morning, being part of a group, or using gadgets to support you. Your choice, your way. The positive link between physical and mental wellbeing is better understood. We also know that for many of us, the challenges we face with mental health may mean we struggle more with adopting positive changes. Please, rather than feeling you are letting yourself and others down, all that is important is getting the right help you need. Remember that your Community Pharmacy team offers access to confidential NHS advice with patience and kindness. We are here for you, just as we know you are for us, too.