Often, after the excess of Christmas, New Year celebrations and the ongoing party that is summer in Australia, people can feel like they have overdone it and need to get ‘back on track’.And just as often, the resolutions we promise ourselves, are broken within days of making them. So why are these commitments so hard to keep?
Usually it boils down to the same things: the changes we require of ourselves are either too many, or too dramatic, or both, and that makes them unrealistic. Genuine lifestyle change is not completed in a moment - it must be a gradual and balanced process. To achieve a real difference in our behaviour, we must first eliminate negative habits and develop positive ones in their place, and that isn’t always easy. But it is possible.Improve your diet
Keep the adjustment simple and manageable. Try eliminating unhealthy foods, and consciously replacing them with healthier ones as often as possible. For example, if your weakness is chips, snack on a small handful of unsalted almonds instead. And if you absolutely have to give in to your cravings, make sure this is only occasionally, and that you keep the portion size small.Quit for good
Ever tried to quit smoking or reduce drinking? These habits, and in some cases addictions, can become difficult and stressful to conquer. It’s best to avoid the cold turkey approach. Enlist the help of your GP in investigating the best support methods and therapies to help you cut back or stop altogether. And if you slip up, don’t be discouraged, just keep trying - you’ll thank yourself when you win.Exercise the easy way
Trying to change your entire exercise regime overnight is almost certain to fail, and your disappointment may be demotivating. Try to do it in achievable chunks and build up from there. For example, if your goal is to take up running, use technology to help. Learning-to-run apps can help guide and train you even if you’re a novice. You’ll probably see and feel a difference without having to overdo it. And it can be even easier and more fun when you involve your friends or family.Take control of your insurances
Don’t wait until the last minute to take charge of your insurance. Do your research and find the best insurance for your health, travel, home and car. Take a little time to reassess any insurances that you set up years ago, and make sure that you’re covered for the things you need and you’re not paying for the things you don’t. It may be time for a health cover check-up!Check in for a check-up
Speaking of check-ups, regular health checks become increasingly important as we get older, as we can become more at risk of developing certain medical conditions, including type-2 diabetes, heart disease, and osteoporosis. This also goes for our eyes and teeth. Regular checks can help identify any issues as early as possible.
In Australia, it’s also very important to have regular skin checks. It’s especially important to see a doctor if you notice any changes or anything unusual, or you have any concerns. Remember, even if you feel well, it’s still worth getting checked out regularly.Look after your emotional wellbeing
Finally, there’s another part of your lifestyle that is of equal importance to all of these, yet many of us may neglect to take care of it: your emotional wellbeing. Modern life is busy and can be very stressful, and if you’re balancing the needs of a career and a family, you may forego the opportunity to take time for yourself. It’s very important that if you feel anxious or sad for more than two weeks, that you reach out to someone you trust for support. This may be a friend, family member or your GP.Let us help
Remember, we’re always here to help – the health of our members and all Australians is our top priority and greatest commitment. It’s never too early or too late to make a positive change to your life.
More for Bupa members: Visit BupaPlus to see our great discounts on products and services exclusive to Bupa members that will help you start 2017 with a plus.