One change to improve your health, long-term
A daily habit that promises to improve your mood, energy levels and overall health? It exists. Make your gut, not the gym, your 2023 health goal and the benefits will last longer than dry Jan.
Making habits stick
Booze free weekdays, morning meditation, daily yoga practice... The promise of a new year and a fresh start sees one in seven of us making resolutions, says a YouGov survey. However, even with the best of intentions the majority of us stop sticking to them by the end of the month, the 19th January is apparently the day that most resolutions are broken, revealed research from running app Strava.
Why is it so hard to create habits that last longer than a few weeks? “It’s because it takes effort, living in the moment to achieve your goal,” explains Indi's Dr Adam Carey. “Once you have made a change and if you can maintain your change for at least three months, this will go a long way to forming a habit.” In fact, creating a routine is the key to implementing long term habits and edging closer to your goals. A habit is something we do ‘automatically’. Think about it, brushing your teeth, eating breakfast, walking to the bus are things we do on autopilot, we don’t think about them which means we do them, and keep doing them. “This is known as an unconscious competence,” says Adam, “to get there we have to move from being consciously incompetent to consciously competent and this takes effort.”
When setting your goals, Adam recommends taking the SMART approach, this means creating goals that are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and with a Timeline. The best way to achieve these goals is to “identify small steps that will move you towards a longer-term vision of the future,” says Adam. For example, if your goal is to be playing an active part in your grandchildren’s lives in ten years time then you may recognise that you need to become more active in order to do this, so the goal you set today will be to increase your fitness levels by doing something like aiming to lose six lbs in six months, “this is specific, measurable, achievable, relevant to your vision of the future and has a clear timeline.”
If you only make one New Year’s resolution make it this…
Now, onto that one health change we promised would make a world of difference. Instead of cutting food groups out, starting an unrealistic diet or setting yourself insane work out goals why not add something IN to your life? Yes really.
This year, nutritionist Dr Federica has one goal, and it’s to “count plants not calories.” The more plants we eat, the healthier, and happier our gut is. And, a gut that’s filled with all the good stuff (the microflora) is a gut that functions well and helps to boost everything from your mood to your energy levels. However, we know that even promising to eat your five a day can often be a struggle. Let alone the suggested 30 (yes really!) different types of plants that are recommended weekly. That’s where Indi Body comes in. “Most of us only consume half of the fibre that we need for good fibre diversity,” explains Dr Federica, and good fibre diversity is vital for maintaining good gut microbiome health. Indi Body, is a daily diet enhancer that contains 15 of the worlds’ most nutrient rich plants. The effort from you is minimal, simply add the powder to your breakfast (coffee, smoothie, yogurt, whatever you fancy), crack on with your usual routine and enjoy the fact that you’ve helped to boost your immune system, fight inflammation and increase your vitamin intake just by eating breakfast as usual. That’s one New Year habit we can all take up.