After Christmas is over comes New Year. We begin to think about how we wish to better ourselves in the new year. Some people decide this is the year for career progression, saving up for a new house or learning a new skill. However, for everyone here at Scottish Slimmers, it is likely the resolution at the top of the list is to lose weight, improve your health and get active. But before you start taking drastic action, promising yourself things you know already know you cannot commit to, lets take a minute to think about our goal- making sure it is realistic. Don't begin the year thinking you will shed all your goal weight by the 31st January. Instead, take it slowly. Smaller, gradual changes make for long-term habits. Here are some tips for planning and achieving your new year resolution: Goal: Lose weight and gain a healthier lifestyle 1. Write down how much you want to lose, why you want to lose it and how it is going to make you feel when you have lost the weight. 2. Plan the ways to achieve this goal: Will you need to increase your level of activity? Eat more fruit and vegetables? Drink more water? 3. Schedule in activity: Using a calendar, schedule in which days you are able to commit to the gym, fitness class or going for a run/walk. Don't schedule in that you will go every day for an hour when you know there are specific days you will not attend. Don't set yourself up for a fall by unrealistic planning. 4. Plan meals on a Sunday night: Cooking at home means you have 100% control over what goes in your body. Cooking at home leads to healthier meal preparation as long as you take advantage of nutritional food produce such as vegetables, beans, pulses, lean meat and limit your intake of salt. 5. Batch cooking: Cook once eat twice- this mantra is highly beneficial for weight loss. Preparing meals that can be boxed up and kept in the fridge or freezer giving you a quick healthy meal for mid-week. Don't wait until New Year's Eve to make your resolution. Take some time before the new year to really think about where you want to be this time next year. Ensure your goal is broken down into smaller blocks that are specific, measurable and time-based. Write your resolution somewhere accessible and easily seen so you are always reminded of what you want to achieve.