Maintaining motivation

Based on a study of 5,000 people, Professor Richard Wiseman, the UK’s only Professor in the Public Understanding of Psychology, shares his advice for successfully adopting healthier habits post-lockdown

Persistence: It's more than likely old habits will creep back in, so see these as temporary setbacks rather than a reason to give up altogether. Failure is the main thing that sets people back, but persistence is key. If on the first day of a new fitness and healthy eating regime you raid the biscuit tin, make sure you start again the next day.

Ensure you have cheerleaders: Let friends and family know you’ve set yourself health and fitness goals so they can encourage you to stick to your resolutions.

Plot your progress: You can share your progress publicly on social media for accountability, or privately in a journal or diary. Allow yourself small rewards for meeting milestones to help keep motivation up.

Set achievable goals: Chose something specific that can be realistically achieved. For example, start by saying you’ll go to the gym once a week, and then move up to two sessions a week.

Know your triggers: Identify what encourages you to do the behaviours you want to avoid. It might be making sure there’s not any biscuits in the house if that’s your snacking weakness. Its also possible to create new triggers to prompt your new healthier behaviours; the start of the evening news could be your cue to go to the gym.