It’s the second week of January… my purse is feeling lighter, even though I had promised to save my pennies for January (it seems that pennies is all I have) and yet despite what feels like continuous salads (yes I am aware its only day 17), I don’t seem to be any slimmer. Our office, like any other I’m sure, is in the mists of the New Years Resolutions of saving money and losing weight promises. Three of our team have invested in juicers and are regaling us with stories of how they feel more full of life – the organic carrots have been purchased and the trainers have been dug out. Everyone seems to be running or in the gym. My regular Monday class was packed, but at least I am safe in the knowledge that by the middle of February I will be able to get my normal spot back!

However it’s now getting to that stage in January where I (and everyone else I seem to be speaking to) are starting to look at those Easter eggs in the supermarket (who can resist a cream egg?!) and it just feels harder to get out of bed for those early morning runs and the grey rain clouds seem to agree with me! Apparently the tradition of making New Year’s Resolutions was started by early Babylonians so safe in the knowledge that I am not the first, and certainly not the last, to encounter this lull in will power, I have been scouring the internet to find motivation – I am not sure if that is to distract from the taste of the beet, broccoli and wheatgrass juice I am drinking or the dull ache that is coming from a muscle I didn’t even know I had let alone how to pronounce. The consensus seems to be that I am setting goals not actions. My goal is to lose weight and save money rather than thinking about how I am going to accomplish this. With this in mind I have tried to think of them in terms of realistic, actionable items – 1) I will have a juice before work each morning 2) I will not purchase my 8.45am coffee 3) I will run Monday, Wednesday, Friday before work.

By making these into habits, from there they will be sustainable. To do this a reward is required after each one to make them long term and to make the brain latch onto them as a habit. For instance: after three work out sessions each week I will allow myself a Friday afternoon chocolate cake. Charles Duhigg, New York Times reporter and author of The Power of Habit says “When keystone habits start to change, they set off a chain reaction that changes other habits, almost unconsciously. People who start habitually exercising tend on average to eat better. They also tend to use their credit cards less and procrastinate less.”

With goals in mind I am determined to beat the third week lull and turn this healthy kick into a habit and a lifestyle – wish me luck!!

Zoe is a Consultant in London and we’ll be bringing in the scales as the end of the month.