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How to: Set Realistic Health Goals

January is all about setting yourself resolutions for the year ahead. Oh, and feeling a little bloated for a Christmas blow-out on chocolate and cheese.

A good dose of daily exercise will help with the latter (and some healthy eating!) and there are plenty of things you can do to help ease the dread of setting yourself an obligatory goal or two. After all, it's always fun to make a resolution. True, you may have broken previous years' goals somewhere down the line, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't set goals.

This year, make it your goal (ahem) to make a realistic health resolution or two - and here's how.

Make a Goal You'll Enjoy Keeping

Realistic health goals are ones that are easy to keep. So, if you enjoy a regular facial or massage, make a vow to yourself to look after your skin in 2019 by booking in for one a month. You'll love the time you spend relaxing while you go for your treatment, as much as your skin (or aching joints) will thank you for it in future.

Start Small

Rather than going 'cold turkey' on all your favourite foods and drinks in a bid to lose weight, start small by cutting out one ingredient or meal at a time.

If your penchant for cheese and crackers is responsible for you piling on the pounds, wean yourself off that teatime snack slowly - and day by day.

Similarly, if chocolate's your vice, start by having your usual bar per day, reducing it to fewer pieces as the week rolls on. By the end of the week, you might only be having one small chunk per night - and as they say, a little bit of what you love won't hurt you. Eventually, you may find it easier to cut it out all together.

Tell People About Your Goals

If you've made a goal, write it down and display it somewhere you'll easily see it every day - such as on your fridge or bedside table. It's also worth telling people about your resolutions (or better yet, writing them in a social media status - if you know your friends will get behind you!); by doing so, other people will hold your accountable, as much as you will (try to) yourself.

If your challenge for yourself is to squeeze into an item of clothing that no longer fits, stick a photo of a slimmer-looking you on your dressing table mirror; trust us when we say you'll have much more motivation when it comes to achieving that goal.

Make a Goal With Someone Else

Want to get fit? Or perhaps you'd like to be more organised? Set a goal with someone else and it'll be much easier to achieve. It's that 'accountability' approach we just mentioned; if you make a resolution or challenge with a friend or family member, you'll both be working towards the same outcome.

Reward Yourself

Set yourself a deadline - along with measurable yet small targets. If you'd like to quit smoking, try cutting down by a few cigarettes a week (or a day) and go from there, rewarding yourself with a small treat for every milestone you reach.

Do something you enjoy each time you hit a target and that goal you set will be easier to tackle.

Disclaimer: If you are allergic to any of the ingredients listed in the products mentioned, do not consume them. Always check with your doctor before trying a new medication or regime, and if irritation or allergy occurs stop using the product or medication immediately. The tips listed in this article are meant to be suggestions and should not be substitutes for medical advice.

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