This time of year, we see no end of adverts, social media posts, newspaper articles and general chat about people wanting to be healthier in 2018. The biggest fail back we see year on year is people trying to introduce a dramatic change to their lifestyle overnight – ‘It’s January, time to eat healthier, go to the gym, quit smoking, quit drinking, give up chocolate, stop having late nights, cut out sugar and just generally change everything about my routine.’

Unsurprisingly people tend not to stick this out. Most people are creatures of habit and routine. We know what we like and we like what we know. A far more successful but underutilised approach is to introduce changes slowly. Make a slight change and stick with it for a couple of weeks. Once its routine to you and no longer a conscious effort, change something else. You’d be amazed how many healthy adaptions you can make in a few months by employing this method.

Below I give you three simple things you could change this week that will all pay off towards a healthier you:

1 – sleep more. This might sound obvious but it you keep track of your sleep for a week I bet you don’t get as much shut eye as you think. By prioritising getting 7-8 hours of quality sleep a night you will benefit from increased muscle recovery, a stronger immune system, better stress regulation and an increase in energy levels. So, fuck off that next episode on Netflix, leave that chapter until tomorrow and stop scrolling through your newsfeed – everything can wait until morning.

2 – get to the box. Obviously, nutrition and exercise are the biggest factors to a healthy lifestyle but were looking for simple here so just turn up for now. Commit to a realistic number of training sessions a week and move heaven and earth to stick to them – there is no reason not to. Now I know life can throw us a curve ball every now and then but generally when I ask people why they missed a session the answer is:

– I had a bad day at work so just didn’t feel like it

– I was tired so didn’t feel like it

– I was hungry so didn’t feel like it

– I just couldn’t be fucked

All pretty poor reasons when you break them down. If your someone who has long tiresome days, train first thing in the morning, then its out of the way.

Work stressing you out? The gym is an excellent way to destress and blow off some steam!

Hungry? Take a snack with you specifically for post-work pre-gym consumption.

Couldn’t be fucked? Then you just don’t want to be healthy all that much do you.

There are a million excuses we could come up with every day. Learn what your go to ones are and build a prevention to them into your routine. Take the excuses away and you’ll be racking up the sessions in no time!

3 – drink more water. Pretty much everything in the body needs water to work efficiently. Cells, tissues and systems all rely on H2O to work and help us perform at our peak. By not getting enough water in each day you are setting yourself up to fail.

Drinking enough starts in the morning. Most of us get up and start the day with a tea or coffee, cause why wouldn’t you! But this isn’t helping our hydration effort. For the next week try nailing a large glass of water before you turn on that kettle. And then continue it throughout the day. Every time you go for coffee/tea, get a cheeky glass of water in too. This will help you rack up some serious hydration throughout the day without it becoming a chore.

So, there you have it, three simple adjustments you can make this week to make yourself just a little bit healthier. Nothing ground breaking but things you can do to make your routine a little healthier and start working towards your healthier you!