January 21, 2022

We know that the Te Atatu Toasted community is committed to good health and wellbeing. But sometimes it’s hard to know where to start. In part two of our goal-setting guide, we share a few tips and suggestions for achievable goals that might work for you and your family this year.

If healthy eating is an area you want to focus on, consider some of these goals that promote positive changes to your everyday eating rather than trying to follow unrealistic, restrictive meal plans.

  • Make two evening meals each week meat-free
  • Try one new healthy meal recipe each week. There are lots to choose from online or try some of these ideas from Lifespark nutritionist Kate Walker.
  • Commit to four alcohol-free nights each week
  • Swap either your usual morning or afternoon tea snack for a vegetable-based option, such as carrots and hummus or cucumber sticks and low-fat cream cheese. Or fruit and yoghurt instead of biscuits.
  • Swap refined grain foods for wholefood options wherever possible – wholewheat bread, brown rice or quinoa instead of white rice. All Te Atatu Toasted cereals are made with wholefood ingredients.

When setting fitness goals, flexibility is key. Aiming to exercise for 40 minutes four or five days a week is more attainable than making a commitment to attend the gym five times a week. It means that walk with a friend counts towards your weekly goal or if you are recovering from an injury or illness, you can opt for a gentle stretching session instead of a hardcore gym class or weights routine.

Other tips to help you enjoy exercise more include

  • Try one new form of exercise a month. If you are a dedicated runner, you might want to try a Pilates class or check out some of the online dance offerings. If you tend to favour cardio, get some weight-training in.
  • Get an exercise buddy – it’s much harder to bypass a walk or workout if you have arranged to meet someone.
  • Ditch the car for short trips and walk or ride if you can.
  • Remember you are in it for the long run (excuse the pun) – it’s better to start slow and build up than go all out and give up.
  • Stretch – this will prevent injury and make exercise more enjoyable, and it’s especially important as we get older.
  • Focus on healthy habit rather than results – it’s better to aim for regular exercise sessions than to aim run 5km in 30 minutes.

Other wellbeing goals you might like to consider include:

  • Establishing a regular sleep routine
  • Setting aside time for social activities. Periods of lockdown in the past two years mean many of us have gotten out of the habit of meeting up with people but social isolation and loneliness are associated with many adverse health conditions including insomnia, depression and reduced immune function.
  • Try meditation or another mindfulness activity
  • Give back to your community – volunteering, even if it’s for one or two hours a month – can increase happiness levels and reduce stress.
Feel free to ignore these suggestions and come up with your own but remember to focus on just a few goals at a time or you will risk being overwhelmed and giving up.