Sarah Janssen, of Suffolk Park, says it’s hard to stick to New Year’s resolutions.
Sarah Janssen, of Suffolk Park, says it’s hard to stick to New Year’s resolutions.

Help at hand for NYE resolutions

EIGHTY per cent of Australians fail to stick with New Year’s resolutions, but many will try again.

Suffolk Park teenager Sarah Janssen, who last year vowed to lose weight and stop biting her nails, knows how difficult it can be.

“There’s so much pressure when it’s a New Year’s resolution,” she said.

She eventually gave up on the nails, and decided to shift the focus from losing weight to being healthy, which has made her a lot more relaxed.

This year she isn’t thinking too hard about resolutions, but for many people New Year’s resolutions such as getting healthier, quitting smoking and saving cash are still high on the agenda

To help people around the region tick the first one off the list, the North Coast Area Health Service (NCAHS) is offering a free health coaching and information service.

NCAHS nutrition and physical activity co-ordinator Jillian Adams said the NSW Get Healthy program was a confidential telephone and online service which offered participants a qualified health coach to help them set healthy lifestyle goals and motivate them.

“Best of all, the Get Healthy service is convenient and can be accessed from your own home, so achieving a healthy lifestyle has never been easier,” she said.

And with more than 49 per cent of women and 64 per cent of men in the region classified as overweight or obese, getting into shape is likely to be a top 2010 priority.

“For those members of the community who need some information, advice or support, I challenge them to take the first step, especially men,” Ms Adams said.

Byron Bay naturopath Gareth Vanderhope runs a stop-smoking program at the North Coast Medical Centre and said the ‘single best thing you can do for your health and hip pocket is to give up smoking’.

Despite a Galaxy Research survey this month showing only 7per cent of quitters were able to give up smoking as part of a New Year’s resolution, and almost a third of current smokers have previously tried to quit at New Year, Mr Vanderhope said giving up smoking was good to have as a resolution.

“It’s actually really important to put it in as a New Year’s resolution, to start planning for it and establish it as a goal,” he said.

Mr Vanderhope said his program prepared people with the skills to quit.

“It’s best if people seek resources, because people need to be equipped with a holistic approach,” he said.

“This might include looking at underlying issues with a counsellor, natural medicines, or looking at unconscious reasons behind smoking.”

Mr Vanderhope said there were some very quick health benefits to quitting smoking.

“Essentially, people’s lung capacity improves quickly, and oxygenation of the blood improves very quickly,” he said.

“Over time, their risk of stroke and heart disease drops, so quitting smoking is the single best thing anyone can do for their health.”

And while quitting smoking helps the hip pocket, so do savings plans.

Andrew Tucker, head of retail banking with Summerland Credit Union, said getting financial affairs in order to maximise savings was a New Year priority for many around the region.

With the Citibank Australian Wealth Survey carried out in September showing more than 62 per cent of people lack the knowledge they need to build wealth, Mr Tucker said the credit union discussed various options with clients.

“People find it difficult to save, whether it’s for a holiday or to pay off their credit card, but if they put away even small amounts and do it regularly it becomes something worthwhile,” he said.

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