As we bid farewell to 2015 we look towards the start of another year and with January apparently comes another thing that seems to allude us for the rest of the year… WILL POWER!

Does Father Christmas deliver this I wonder and store it under the tree until January 1st when you unwrap it and smugly announce that you have enough of it to get you through until at least maybe January 4th?!

A new year, a new you? A fresh start? Oh and let’s not forget the good old detox!! Here we go again. These marketing gimmicks frustrate me and have lead me to share a few things with you as 2016 begins.

Firstly, will power isn’t a thing that you either have or don’t have. There’s a constant conversation in your head – whether the reasons for doing something out- weigh the reasons for not but also there’s the reality of your day to day life. You are not weak if you supposedly have no will power, you are just human!

My advice for 2016!

Acknowledge and give yourself credit for the habits you’re actually pleased about – the desire to take a shower occasionally or put clothes on before you leave the house perhaps!

Let’s take these lifestyle habits then – what we put in our mouths, how often we move our bodies, our posture as we sit at our desk, they can be as automatic as putting on clothes in the morning so of course they are going to take time to do differently.

Don’t impose a strict set of rules which are ridiculously hard to stick to (one shall use one’s nutribullet to blend kale every morning without fail) – after all who needs a digestive system if you have one of those!

Inevitably failure to stick to the rules leads to reprimanding yourself for not having enough of this will power stuff and you feel more deflated than when you started.

Instead, think about designing your life and surroundings to make it just that little bit easier to change the habits you’re not happy with.

Don’t think that your fickle friend will power is going to get you past some obvious stumbling blocks. Fact – you will make worse food choices when you’re tired, hungry and impulsive. So imagine what potential culinary disaster awaits you when god forbid you’re all 3 at the same time – aaarrrggghhh.

My biggest tip – do a bit of planning – whether this be checking out the sandwich options at Pret online and picking your top 5 for the week ahead, doing an online shop to avoid zombie shopping after work or sitting down on a Sunday and working out what you can cook with the leftovers of that roast, every little helps as they say!

When I meal plan, I eat better. It’s not rocket science I know, and just because I’m a dietitian it doesn’t mean I’m naturally drawn to lentils and lettuce leaves!

Now where’s that chocolate bar, noooo I mean my pad and pen to plan! Happy New Year and happy planning everyone!


Image credit: Alamy