Hints to stay healthy this New Year!

Cancer Council Queensland spokesperson Katie Clift shares our secrets to keeping your health and wellbeing New Year’s resolutions!

Welcome to 2014! A fresh new year to set some big goals for your health and wellbeing!

Many of you may have already kick-started your resolutions with the best of intentions. Alarmingly though, stats show only 12 per cent of us will fulfil our New Year goals!

Our aim is to help Queenslanders keep their healthy resolutions on track to achieve better quality of life, establish new healthy habits and prevent cancer where possible.

Queensland has the third-highest obesity rate in the nation, among the highest rates of daily smoking and one in five Queenslanders are facing the risk of long-term harm from alcohol use.

We know we can do better, and now is the time for change. Up to one-third of all cancers in Queensland are preventable through simple lifestyle changes.

Perhaps you want to lose a bit of weight, take up a new type of exercise or stop eating unhealthy foods – the key to keeping yourself on track is to make sure that you are setting realistic goals.

Unfortunately, making too many changes too quickly or becoming discouraged after initial setbacks can cause people to throw in the towel and resume old, unhealthy habits.

Planning and setting realistic expectations are key. Start with small habitual changes and develop a great support base of friends and family to encourage you to make long-term changes for your health.

Start by incorporating simple lifestyle changes including eating healthily, being SunSmart, moving more, maintaining a healthy weight and reducing alcohol intake, and progress from there.

Here are our top tips for keeping your 2014 New Year’s health and wellbeing resolutions:

  • Set a goal that’s achievable – be realistic about your resolution.
  • If you feel like giving up, remind yourself of why you decided to change and how your action will benefit your health in the short and long term (prevent cancer!)
  • Set a timeline and a healthy reward for your actions such as a massage or time with friends and family.
  • Identify obstacles –how will you handle the hard times when they arrive?
  • Get support – tell others about your resolution and ask for their ongoing encouragement.
  • Find something new and meaningful to get involved in, such as Relay For Life or I Can For Cancer.
  • Join the QUEST to reduce your risk of cancer at www.quest.org.au.

More information about Cancer Council Queensland and making healthier choices in the new year is available at www.cancerqld.org.au.