While many of us see Christmas as a great excuse to take time out from our healthy routines, January is a different story. After you’ve eaten your body weight in turkey, cheese and chocolate, drunk countless glasses of prosecco and spent days snoozing on the couch, the idea of returning to your healthy habits can feel somewhat daunting.
The key to returning to your healthy routine is rebuilding your willpower. In this extract from Food Freedom Forever, Melissa Hartwig shares three tips for strengthening your resolve this January:
Create a morning routine
While experts don’t agree on one ideal morning routine, they do agree that employing one leads to increased willpower, more productivity, and even better health. Waking up to a routine makes you feel like you’re running the day, instead of the day running your over. It helps you feel proactive instead of reactive, and ensures that you have time for your most important priorities. Perhaps you wake up and meditate, exercise, or go for a short walk; cook a healthy breakfast; write a journal; or food prep for the day – all behaviours that will support your new healthy habits. The key is creating a routine for you, and then sticking to it every day until it feels effortless.
Research shows that people who (a) thinking positively, (b) believe will power can be ‘strengthened’, and (c) are generally upbeat can stretch their willpower capacity, especially early in the day. I know, easier said than done, especially on a Monday. Still, you may be surprised at how small shifts in your thinking can lead to huge improvements in your outlook. Try adding a gratitude practice to your morning routine; recognising negative thoughts or a fixed mindset and substituting positive ones; or reading more about positive thinking to reinforce the concept.
One Moment Meditation
Train yourself to use ‘one-moment meditation’ to help get you through a tough situation. One study found that practising mindfulness in the moment is a quick and efficient strategy to foster self-control, even when you’re feeling like all willpower has abandoned you.