Resetting this New Year

How to reset this New Year

What are the core values of Apple, FC Barcelona and daveynutrition?
Apple considers their values integral to their success. They have outlined their core values to include education, environment, accessibility, inclusion and diversity, privacy, racial equity and justice and supplier responsibility.
While FC Barcelona are clear that their five principal values that define their spirit are respect, effort, ambition, teamwork and humility.
At daveynutrition, our leading values are evidence, practical and fun.
Evidence – Nutrition guidance and strategies are only build on a solid foundation of scientific evidence
Practical – it must be achievable and be something you can do everyday
Fun – It must be enjoyable or it won’t be sustainable

The link between values and ‘resetting’

With the start of a new year comes a great opportunity to celebrate another lap around the sun, another year lived and a fresh start for the next 12 months that lie ahead. There is something a little bit nostalgic and emotional about the end of a year.
We look back on what has changed since 12 months ago, what has stayed the same, goals we achieved and goals we didn’t. We think about loved ones lost and appreciate new friendships and connections over the past 12 months.

It is quite easy to get lost in our routines of everyday life and forget that our everyday behaviours actually shape our health. And so, it’s a good time of year to take stock of where you are right now and where you are heading.
It is quite easy to get lost in our routines of everyday life and forget that our everyday behaviours actually shape our health. The most common causes of death are often preventable with the correct lifestyle and dietary practices – heart disease, diabetes, chronic lower respiratory diseases, stroke and many cancers (WHO, 2017).
Health promoting behaviours such as regular exercise, stress management, adequate good quality sleep, consuming a diet rich in protein, plant foods, colour and fibre, keeping yourself hydrated, as well as social engagement and connection may improve not only our experience of life, but also the length and quality of our lives.

One behaviour such as eating a nourishing meal or going for a walk today will not add years to our life or promise to protect against disease but our day to day behaviours will accumulate over the course of the week, month, year and lifetime.
To achieve meaningful health outcomes and behaviour change, we should consider repeated performance of those behaviours over a prolonged period.
Similarly, we should consider the more unhelpful behaviours which may include drinking a glass of wine after work or skipping the gym to stay late at work. This behaviour will not lead to detrimental consequences if carried out once or even occasionally, however, if the behaviour is carried out regularly over a prolonged period, the consequences accumulate and the effects will reveal themselves.

The beginning of a year is a good time of year to take stock of what your current behaviours are, are they supporting your desired health outcomes or could they be having a accumulative negative effect on your health?

 

 

Living by your values

Values are things that we live by. They are internalised, cognitive structures that guide our choices. They may be passed onto us by our parents, family, community and social groups. They guide our decisions and give us a sense of right and wrong, priorities, and meaning.
When we are aware and honest about what our values are, and bring more attention to them, it can help us understand our behaviours and make better decisions in daily life. This can give us clarity to behave in such a way that supports them. When our behaviour is not inline with our values, it can lead to mistrust in ourselves, diminishing our self confidence and may even have a knock on effect on our motivation to engage in health promoting behaviours.

What can we learn from the All Blacks?

One of the All Blacks guiding values is “KNOW THYSELF – Keep it real”. They know that when it comes to developing as an athlete, the real competition is with yourself. This is where they value honesty about their progress, performance and effort levels in order to become the best player they can be. And so the question they pose is to ask themselves, “Could I do more?”.

What values do you hold and what behaviours are in line with those values?
If you value your health and longevity, are you engaging in daily behaviours that are in line with that value? Do you get out for a walk or exercise daily? Do you plan your meals to ensure you are eating a well balanced diet? Do you keep yourself well hydrated and prioritise sleep?

January Motivation

With January often comes heightened motivation, you will hear talk of starting fresh in the new year and New Years resolutions but while people may be able, willing and motivated to initiate a change in behaviour in the new year, often times, they will not maintain it over time and before long, will have fallen back into the same patterns of behaviour from the previous year (Michie, van Stralen, & West, 2011; Dombrowski, Knittle, Avenell, Araujo-Soares, & Sniehotta, 2014). Motivation can not be sustained, life is constantly changing and other things will be prioritised, the new behaviour will seem less important and maybe even not worthwhile or boring and so it is forgotten about and we resort back to our old ways.

 

 

Getting into the habit

We may be aware of our values, for example, you value your health and you have recognised that you feel better when you eat a well balanced diet. However motivation to go food shopping, meal meals and cook may slip from time to time. This is why it can be more useful to incorporate these behaviours into your daily habits, rather than relying on motivation to guide you.

Habit formation can play a useful role in successful behaviour change. Habits have been likened to an impulsive process, that require minimal cognitive awareness, effort, intention or control (Gardner & Rebar, 2019). A strong habit tends to dominate over motivational intentions.

Habits are cue-dependent, in psychology a habit is a process where exposure to a certain cue will automatically trigger an impulse to act. This is said to be because of a learned association between the cue and the action (Gardner, 2015). They are also said to be learned through repetition that is context-dependent (Lally, van Jaarsveld, Potts, & Wardle, 2010).

For example, you may build the habit of writing a shopping list after dinner on a Sunday.
Make food shopping a part of your routine on a Monday and develop the habit of preparing dinner after work in the evenings.

 

To learn more about habit formation and the science behind them, I strongly recommend listening to this podcast: Charles Duhigg on the Power of Habit Or reading this book: The Power of Habit: Why we do what we do in life and business by Charles Duhigg

 

Who is the type of person you want to become?

Have you set yourself a goal for 2023? Goals are relatively easy to set, particularly at this time of year, but are you being strategic with your goals?

Before setting out on your journey or telling all your friends, a goal should be well thought through and inline with your values. When we set ourselves a goal and don’t have a clear plan , understand why or how we will achieve it, it’s likely we won’t achieve it or even make any progress towards it. This can be demoralising, affecting our own self confidence and lead us back to old, unhelpful behaviours.

Is your goal SMART? Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely?

Does the journey of achieving that goal support you in becoming the type of person you want to be and living a life how you want to? For example if you value your health, are your goals in line with living a healthy lifestyle?

Determine Your Nutrition Goal – daveynutrition

I suggest considering your intentions for the year that are in line with your own values. How do you intend to show up this year? Not just at the beginning of the year. Setting intentions can be more actionable, particularly in our everyday lives when motivation inevitably slumps.

For example if health, strength and fitness, self-care, connection are values, intentions could be:

Health

I intend to support my health and fitness goals by setting time aside each week to do my food shopping and prepare nourishing meals

Strength and fitness

I intend to improve my strength and fitness by going to the gym after work with my friend

Self-care

I intend to improve my energy and feel better throughout the days by going to bed at a consistent time each night

Connection

I intend to improve my friendships by scheduling time to meet my friends each week

What are your values and how do you intend to live in line with them?

 

How to reset this Year – In Summary

To summarise, just because it is the start of the year does not mean you have to become a new person, change all of your old habits and be the most perfect version of yourself. Don’t get lost in the noise of the motivational Instagram posts, and influencer’s sales pitches. I encourage you to get to know and understand your values, then identify what behaviours will help you to live in line with those values. You are fine just how you are, but if you do want to invest in your future self, your health and longevity, it is important to be aware of the accumulative effect of your behaviour.

A reset can simply be about taking stock of your current situation, behaviours and being honest with yourself about where you are and where your behaviours are bringing you. And more importantly, a reset does not have to be saved for January. You will go against your values and not be intentional in your behaviours at times throughout the year, no one is perfect, but writing down your values and intentions to come back to throughout the year will help you to reset again and again, not just in January. 

It requires awareness, honesty and discipline but you will thank yourself when you reflect back on another lap around the sun in January 2024 and see the positive impacts of your intentional behaviours.

 

How can we help?

If you would like further support with your nutrition, our team of experienced Nutritionists & Dietician would be happy to help you achieve your goals. You can book a one-to-one consultation here daveynutrition Clinic – or email expertsupport@daveynutrition.com.

 

References:

Michie, S., Van Stralen, M. M., & West, R. (2011). The behavior change wheel: A new method for characterising and designing behavior change interventions. Implementation Science, 6(1), 42–53.

Dombrowski, S. U., Knittle, K., Avenell, A., Araujo-Soares, V., & Sniehotta, F. F. (2014). Long-term maintenance of weight loss with non-surgical interventions in obese adults: Systematic review and meta-analyses of randomised controlled trials. BMJ, 348, g2646.

Gardner, B. (2015). A review and analysis of the use of “habit” in understanding, predicting and influencing health-related behavior. Health Psychology Review, 9(3), 277–295.

Lally, P., Van Jaarsveld, C. H., Potts, H. W., & Wardle, J. (2010). How are habits formed: Modelling habit formation in the real world. European Journal of Social Psychology, 40(6), 998–1009.

World Health Organization. (2017). Global health observatory data. Geneva, Switzerland: World Health Organization.

Gardner, B., & Rebar, A. Habit Formation and Behavior Change. Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Psychology. Retrieved 3 Jan. 2023, from https://oxfordre.com/psychology/view/10.1093/acrefore/9780190236557.001.0001/acrefore-9780190236557-e-129

 

This article was written and published by Heather Masterson.