OH! Magazine - Australian Version January 2016 - Page 8

MICHELLE BRIDGES PLANNING IS THE KEY TO SUCCESSFUL RESOLUTIONS Michelle Bridges explains how to actually successfully achieve your healthy resolutions. very year I get asked about new year’s resolutions, and every year I give pretty much the same answer; ‘they probably won’t work’. E This year I’m going to pre-empt the cursory ‘so Michelle, tell me – how do you stick to a new year’s resolution?’ by explaining right here and now why your chances of doing so are hovering somewhere between ‘slim’ and ‘none’. Most new year’s resolutions are made by women when they’re upside down on the bed with their legs in the air trying to get into a pair of jeans bought in last year’s summer sales! Or by blokes when they finally admit to themselves that the ever diminishing view of their manhood is due to their waistline expanding and not their ‘friend’ contracting! So there’s the first problem: decisions are often made in a highly emotive state, which are often negative. Next issue with resolutions, is the timing. Announcements that start with ‘that’s it! From now on…’ invariably precede a spontaneous run around the block, or buying new runners and workout outfits online! Which directly ties in with another problem: no forward planning. Then there’s also the issue of will power. This is where our brain, stifling a yawn and realising that it’s ‘that time of year again’ conspires to undo us. You see, the part of our brain that associates an action in the present with a benefit in the future is called the ‘prefrontal cortex’, which is located at the front of our heads. Here lies what i call ‘Willpower HQ’, and it serves to determines to what extent rockin’ a pair of Levi’s in three months time will propel you to pass up a deep fried Mars Bar or a second glass of sav blanc. The trouble is, that the pre-frontal cortex is a hungry little bugger which needs 8 JANUARY 2016 ( OH! MAGAZINE ) plenty of glucose to keep operating at peak performance. Which isn’t a problem except that you’ve just put yourself on a 350 calories a day diet composed mostly of goji berries, spirulina and walnuts. The result? Within a day or two your brain has had enough, willpower has left the building, and you’ve got a filthy cold because your full throttle launch into a fitness regime flattened out your immune system and you weren’t taking in enough vitamins and minerals to prop it up again. And there goes the new year’s resolution. Pop it into the drawer and drag it out next year. Or follow my tip for success in the new year, which is: Take a full month to plan the changeover to a healthier lifestyle, ensuring that all bases are covered. By this I mean nutrition, exercise and mindset. Then, and only then, should you start taking action to achieve your new years resolution. www.michellebridges.com.au ( Fitness & Motivation )