New year, new you and other myths


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Diet books galore

So many diets, so little success long term

Come January, everywhere you turn there is a story about new year’s resolutions. Diet and detox fads, quit smoking ads, credit card offers, wardrobe makeover tips appear like clockwork, as we are all focused on making this year better than ever after the excesses of the silly season.

As much as I am a cheerleader for self improvement I find myself cynically scoffing at the “reality” of such sudden sweeping changes. Why? Simply put – nobody can expect old habits to die hard just because we said we would at the stroke of midnight on December 31.

A friend of mine reminded me of this truth a few weeks ago when she mentioned the “10,000 hour rule”. It takes that many hours to become really good at anything. Even The Beatles had to abide by the 10,000 hour rule before they could become the biggest band on the planet back in their heyday. There are no short cuts to lasting success. And let’s face it, who is after anything less?

I also learnt this lesson when I began a Foundations Pilates class two and a bit years ago. The very fit and strong teacher was very clear on day one at reminding us all we needed to do a new exercise literally thousands of times before it became habitual. That is a damn lot of pelvic floor lifts!

Instead of having January 1 be a time to reboot ourselves in a fit of remorse at what we should or could have done better all these months (or years) prior, we could just make small but meaningful and long term changes every single day. Whether it be to cut back on sugar, walk to work a day a week instead of driving or ensure we ALL sit down without gadgets every evening for a family dinner. It would be less drastic, less painful and hopefully less fleeting than dropping 5 kilos in five days.

Afterall, life is a long, beautiful and sometimes tricky journey so what’s the rush?