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Make a healthy New Year’s resolution – and stick to it!

South Lincolnshire CCG is encouraging people to make small changes this January to improve their health for the future.

New Year ResolutionSimple New Year’s resolutions such as quitting smoking, cutting down on drinking alcohol, or exercising more can go a long way to improving health and South Lincolnshire CCG is encouraging people to make a change to their lifestyle in 2017 that could benefit them for the rest of their life.

The NHS Choices website www.nhs.uk provides some expert tips for sticking to those resolutions and achieving your goals.

Dr Kevin Hill, GP and Chair of South Lincolnshire CCG said:

“A new year means a fresh start for many of us and if you can make one change such as giving up smoking, drinking less alcohol, eating healthier or exercising more, it’s likely to benefit you for the rest of your life.

“Regular exercise can dramatically improve your health and reduces the risk of major illnesses, such as heart disease, stroke and diabetes. 

“Giving up smoking is the single best thing you can do to improve your health. You are four times more likely to give up smoking with professional help, so speak to your GP or pharmacist for advice.”

NHS Choices website reports that psychologists have found people are more likely to succeed if they break their resolution into smaller goals that are specific, measurable and time-based.

Professor Richard Wiseman of the University of Hertfordshire, tracked 5,000 people as they attempted to achieve their New Year's resolutions.

His team found that those who failed tended not to have a plan, which made their resolution soon feel like a mountain to climb. Some focused too much on the downside of not achieving their goal, adopted role models or relied on will power alone.

"Many of these ideas are frequently recommended by self-help experts but our results suggest that they simply don't work," says Prof Wiseman.

"If you are trying to lose weight, it's not enough to stick a picture of a model on your fridge or fantasise about being slimmer."

He said the 10% of participants in the study who had achieved their target broke their goal into smaller goals and felt a sense of achievement when they achieved these.

"Many of the most successful techniques involve making a plan and helping yourself stick to it," says Prof Wiseman.

See Prof Wiseman’s top 10 tips for achieving your New Year resolutions at: http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/Healthychristmas/Pages/NewYearresolutions.aspx