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Mandy Kloppers

80% of us have failed to keep our New Year’s Resolutions

New year's resolutions

80% of us have failed to keep our New Year’s Resolutions, but it’s not too late to try again: expert

 

By the end of February, 80% of Brits have already failed to keep their New Year’s Resolutions. However, if your Resolutions were based around healthier living, it’s not too late to try again. This time, learn to measure your success, says expert.

 

London Medical Laboratory’s latest research has revealed that half of all Brits made at least one Resolution at the beginning of the year, but 46% gave up on their goal by the end of January and a whopping 80% by the end of February. Only 9% of us are likely to last the year.

While some of our Resolutions will be ‘nice to haves’, such as learning a new skill, 45% of people make a Resolution around losing weight or getting into shape. The consequences of giving up on these resolves can be serious, though any decisions to improve health is an important first step.

Dr Avinash Hari Narayanan (MBChB), Clinical Lead at London Medical Laboratory, says: ‘Our research reveals a worrying but understandable lack of will when it comes to keeping our New Year’s Resolutions. For the great majority who have already given up on their goals, our message is that they should give themselves a pass and have another go. A lot may be riding on the result.

‘Our research shows that Brits’ top five Resolutions are:

  1. living healthier, losing weight and exercising
  2. self-improvement, such as a new language or skill
  3. saving money
  4. travelling more
  5. reading more books

‘All of these are laudable aims, of course, but if we don’t have our health, none of the other Resolutions truly matter.

‘So why have most people given up on their Resolutions, particularly health goals, already? Tellingly, 43% of us actually expect we will give up on our Resolutions after just one month. That’s not exactly setting ourselves up for success.

‘The real issue is that it takes two months to successfully fix a new routine in place, and most people have lost heart by then. A study published in the ‘British Journal of Health Psychology’ found that it took “a median of 59 days for participants who successfully formed habits to reach peak automaticity”. In other words, it takes 59 days for a particular behaviour, such as a new exercise plan, to become routine.

‘According to Ohio State University, it’s vital to break our Resolutions down into small chunks that can be measured.  Measurable goals not only show progress but inspire us when we see our data. They also give us a chance to celebrate small wins when we reach a milestone.

‘So how can we measure the success of the Resolution at the top of most people’s lists: living healthier, losing weight and exercising? One way is through simple finger-prick general health profile blood tests that monitor our liver & kidney function, bone health, iron levels, diabetes (HbA1c) and cholesterol.

‘By taking a general health test, perhaps every few months, we can see exactly how much of an impact our new diet plan or exercise regime is having. We can also identify/monitor many underlying or pre-existing conditions.

‘For example, London Medical Laboratory’s own General Health Profile blood test monitors seven key areas of health:

Muscle and bone profile: monitoring calcium levels to determine bone health and the effect of exercise on muscles

Liver function: the liver regulates blood sugar levels, fights infections and detoxifies blood

Kidney function: kidneys help with the removal of waste products, releasing hormones to regulate blood pressure and control the production of red blood cells

Diabetes: checking levels of HbA1c to see if we have (or are at risk of developing) diabetes

Cholesterol: high cholesterol levels cause arteries to become blocked, leading to coronary heart disease, heart attack or stroke. Finding out about high levels of cholesterol helps us to make positive lifestyle and dietary changes.

Iron levels: iron deficiency causes a wide range of symptoms such as fatigue, chest pains and shortness of breath

Gout: gout is far from being a forgotten condition, one that only affected port-swilling Victorians. It’s a common and complex form of arthritis that can affect anyone and is caused by high levels of uric acid.

‘London Medical Laboratory’s General Health Profile blood test can be taken at home through the post, or at one of the many drop-in clinics that offer these tests across London and nationwide in over 120 selected pharmacies and health stores. For full details, see: https://www.londonmedicallaboratory.com/product/general-health

Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash

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