Right? Well, that’s what most of us said to ourselves when the New Year arrived. Going back to work or university definitely makes things a bit tricky, especially when we feel that we don’t have the time to exercise as much as we had hoped or to cook healthy meals after arriving home from a hard day at the office. So what can you do to stick to your goals?

  • Make small changes – We all go into the New Year with lots of ideas of how to change but we need to be realistic. You need to ask yourself: Will I be able to maintain the changes I have set for myself? If not, you need to reassess. The easiest thing to do is to set small goals that you can implement every day. If you want to drink more water, set a goal of drinking 1-2 extra glasses per day, instead of 6. It will be a lot easier and you can always make adjustments at a later stage.
  • Pack a healthy lunch box – Setting aside a few minutes in the evening or morning to pack a healthy lunch box is a must. It will prevent you from skipping lunch (which only makes you binge on your next meal) or buying unhealthy foods and drinks at work. Here are a few tips on packing a healthy lunch box:
  1. Always make sure your lunch box is balanced (contains carbohydrates, protein and fat). Include a whole-wheat sandwich or wrap filled with salad and meat/tuna; mini egg muffins; biltong or nuts; fruit and vegetable sticks with a dip; yoghurt; whole-wheat crackers with cottage cheese or hummus.
  2. Include something colourful, whether it’s fresh fruit or vegetables.
  3. Don’t forget to include a bottle of water. Make things interesting by flavouring the water with herbs or fruit.
  • Meal planning and prepping – In order to stay on track, it is important to plan ahead. Make a menu for the week ahead and set up an ingredients list of everything you need. If need be, prep the ingredients and put everything into little bags or containers. This will make cooking much simpler and quicker.

It’s clear that the goals we set for ourselves don’t come easy. We have to work for them, but in saying that, don’t beat yourself up if it’s tougher than you thought. Missing a gym session or eating a chocolate with your lunch is not the end of the world, and it shouldn’t be the end of your “New Year, New You, and New Health Goals”. Pick yourself up and keep going 🙂