It’s a new year for new goals

Nutritionist Danijela Unkovich shares her top three tips for re-evaluating your health and lifestyle and creating manageable wellness goals. Photo supplied.

With the New Year upon us, the Times spoke with Howick nutritionist Danijela Unkovich on how to achieve a healthier lifestyle and mindset in 2018.

New years are opportunities for new beginnings. We may have celebrated well and wrapped up the silly season, but the start of 2018 is a wonderful opportunity to re-evaluate our health and lifestyle, and set some fresh wellness goals.

The secret to change is simple, just start! Set a goal, make a plan, and focus on consistency. Health is one of our most valuable assets, and a healthier you will increase your mood, energy and longevity, and reduce the risk of chronic disease.

Changing habits doesn’t happen overnight but, by making sustainable changes and keeping consistent, we can make 2018 our healthiest year yet!

Here are some tips to get going in your goal setting:

Focus on small changes
While New Year enthusiasm may tempt us to do a complete overhaul of our habits, it’s important to set goals that are manageable and will fit in with our lifestyle. For long-lasting change we need to be consistent, as consistency leads to sustainability, which leads to change. Be mindful not to overwhelm yourself, and instead pick one or two areas to focus on; whether eating more fruits and veggies, moving your body more or getting enough sleep at night.

What motivates you
Tracking progress can be a helpful motivator in keeping committed to wellness goals. For example, if you’ve got fitness goals in mind, set a distance you’d like to comfortably walk or run, and work towards achieving increments within a certain time frame – seeing your increase in fitness over time can be hugely motivating to keep going! Other great motivators include how your feeling, how your clothes are fitting, and your energy levels.

Keeping accountable can be brilliant for times when we start to sway from our goals. If you’re focusing on dietary changes, keeping a food diary can be helpful in bringing mindfulness and accountability to food choice. If you’re working on a fitness goal, try signing up for a group fitness class or buddy-up with a friend!