The start of a new year brings reflection, great intentions and a steely determination to stick to resolutions that were probably decided upon after a few gins! So what happens to cause those New Year resolutions to fall by the wayside? Before you’re even aware of it, the festive period is over and routine day to day living restarts and those resolutions seem to be a thing of the past. Sound familiar?
Making a New Year’s resolution because it is the done or expected thing is absolutely pointless unless you REALLY want to change something in your life. Thinking a resolution through is key, so I thought I would share some of my thoughts on how to do this and more importantly how to stick to them.
1. Plan. Allow yourself the time to think about what you actually want out of the new year. Don’t just make a flippant decision, think it through. This will help you decide what changes you really want to see in your life and not just ones that scratch the surface.
2. Be realistic. So many people set themselves up for failure because their resolutions are just unrealistic. The second you realise that it will be harder than you originally thought, you will lose all motivation and interest.
3. How? Once you’ve decided what you want to change, think about how you are going to make it happen. If you want to get fitter, work out what days you can fit training in around work and personal commitments. If you want to be more productive at work in order to finish earlier, work out how you can do this. Achievable targets will keep you motivated.
4. Commit. So you’ve set realistic goals and decided how you are going to achieve them, next comes the hardest part. Commitment. You can’t achieve something if you go into it half heartedly. Picture yourself in 3 months time when the changes you have implemented are really starting to reap their rewards. Even if you are derailed by life issues, just pick yourself up and recommit. Starting and stopping is fine as long as you keep moving forward.
5. Stay motivated. Whatever you have decided to do, there will be temptations along the way and some days you will just wonder if it’s worth all the effort. Remind yourself why you set the resolution and do whatever it takes to stay motivated. Get your family and friends involved and don’t forget to reward yourself whenever you take a step forward.
6. Don’t be hard on yourself. Of course it’s important to stay focused on your resolutions but it’s just as important to realise that things can get in the way sometimes. Don’t feel guilty if you have to take a break. It can be very easy to give up if we hit an obstacle. Accept there will be setbacks. Put them behind you, refocus and go for it again.
7. Review. Once you have achieved what you set out to do, review how it went and what you would or wouldn’t do differently. If getting fit was your goal you may have discovered that the gym just wasn’t your thing, so work out what you would enjoy doing to stay fit and healthy. Keep going until you find something you enjoy doing.
Remember you don’t need a New Year to make a change, you can do it any day of the week. Focus on the long game. Knowing you are working continuously towards a goal can help you stay committed and positive. Make your own luck!
Make the Change