2019 New Year’s reflections

Tamara Willner
Written by

Tamara Willner

27th November 2019

The holiday season is the perfect chance to reflect on our year. Self-reflection is an important tool to help us define what has worked well for us and to recognise the areas we’d like to continue to work on. This can help us achieve our health goals as we learn which aspects of our behaviour we should focus on.

Where to start

A great way to reflect is to write down your thoughts in a journal. Take notes and, as a good starting point, consider:

  • What went well in 2019?
  • What new habits did you build?
  • What did you struggle with?
  • What habits would you like to break?

Why journal?

Starting the new year we usually feel motivated to make lifestyle changes. However, when we feel less motivated or are struggling to get back on track, looking back on our reflections can be very motivating. It can help to remind us of why it’s worth it to persevere and continue with your healthy choices.

Studies have shown that journaling can boost your memory, which might help you keep your goals in mind. It’s a great way to organise the thoughts in your mind and help you make sense of them. More regular self-reflection and journaling can also be a valuable tool to identify any negative thought patterns or trends between your emotions and behaviours.

For example, we might journal about how we tried out some new healthy recipes and really enjoyed them. Then, we could read this reflection back if we are considering buying an unhealthy takeaway and remember that we enjoyed the healthy food we made ourselves. This is more likely to result in us deciding to cook our own meal and stick to our healthy habits while saving money!

What counts as an achievement or struggle?

Achievements, struggles, or thoughts don’t have to be monumental to be journaled. It’s often more motivating to focus a few smaller habits.

For example, we might journal that we achieved getting off the bus a stop early on our commute home, so we got a short walk in once a week. In contrast, we might journal that we struggled with drinking more than 1 glass of water each day. There’s no such thing as an achievement or struggle that’s too small.

Looking back on any achievements, however small, can motivate us to make further changes when we are feeling disheartened.

Our reflections

In 2019, the Second Nature programme helped individuals achieve their health goals and build healthy, sustainable habits. This year, our achievements here at Second Nature include:

1) 19,364 new members joined.

This is roughly the population of Aberystwyth in Wales.

2) A total of 117,102 kgs were lost between members.

This is roughly the weight of 24 elephants!

3) Second Nature members walked a total of 9,006,860,385 steps.

This is roughly equivalent to walking around the world 17 times!

Our team are constantly reflecting on feedback from members and trying to improve our programme and app. This year we learned that:

1) Members wanted the sense of community to continue after they finished the 3-month core programme.

So, we developed the in-app sustain community. This connects members who are all in the same stage of the programme and is an excellent place to exchange tips, recipes, and be inspired and motivated by others.

2) Members suggested it would be easier to build healthy habits if they could track their progress in the app.

So, our product team built a habit tracking feature, which allows you to track your progress. Any habits surrounding exercise, nutrition, mindset, sleep, and stress can be tracked. The latest feature also allows you to track how easy you are finding a particular behaviour (from ‘still learning’ to ‘automatic’). Whether it is drinking more water or reducing your screen time, watching healthy habits become second nature can be very motivating.

3) People wanted to forge relationships with other members of the Second Nature community.

So, our product team developed the ability to add friends in the app. This allows members to privately message others on a similar journey. You can even invite friends to have a steps competition with you if you are lacking in motivation!

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Write a response

Christine Laschet

6 January, 2020

Interesting comments but I cook almost all of our meals and like healthy foods. I think as I watch my food choices – my problem is portion size. I have eaten completely freely over Christmas and all the delicious extras and have put no weight on. I will try to lose weight but I will be very surprised if I manage to lose 7 lbs. I assume a limited number of carbohydrates are allowed each day?Porridge in the morning and 1 sensible slice of whole meal bread per day will suit me.


5 January, 2020

Thanks for Second Nature reflections. The community aspect is very useful I find. I’d be interested in net kgs lost or gained as a more accurate measure of achievement. Thanks! Lucy

frances Lynch

1 January, 2020

so many things i would like to change in 2020 unhappy in my job my appearance my weight lack of motivation to exercise constantly worry about my son whos 29 and in very toxic same sex relationship


1 January, 2020

I have a degenerative disease that has left me disabled and unable to exercise. Would the path be geared to the totally sedentary?

Tamara Willner

3 January, 2020

Hi Bee, thank you for your query. Second Nature would still be a suitable option for you. When you join the programme, you are assigned to a qualified health coach who can advise you on certain exercises tailored to your needs. It’s also worth noting that exercise is just one element of the programme, and you could benefit from the other parts we focus on, including nutrition, sleep, and stress. To find out more, take our health quiz.

Robert Kelly

29 December, 2019

Struggled to stay on track over Xmas. Mindset back in place and am in reset!
Happy New Year and have an amazing 2020 to all.

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