30 Dec Making Your New Year Resolutions Stick
Making Your New Year Resolutions Stick
New year, new start. How many times have we pledged to become better people on the first day of January? The thing is that New Year’s Day is just a day. Yes it may be a symbolic date, and yes that symbolism is a great bit of motivation to get rid of the old and bring in the new but it really is only a day just like any other and you are just a human. So how can you make your resolutions stick and be that person you’ve been dreaming about becoming all through the festive season?
Cherry Pick Your Resolutions
You’re bound to have a load of different resolutions that cover many aspects of your life – stop smoking, loose weight, decorate the spare room, keep in touch with your friends etc – but too many things to think about will soon see you dropping your promises like a Leonardo Di Caprio does his girlfriends. Take some time to prioritise the areas of your life where you can make improvements rather than a radical lifestyle change. Hone down your list and decide on long term goals that you can honestly see happening and focus on these. It’s probably best to work on one at a time rather than everything all at once.
Write Them Down
As with all goals the best way to connect your thinking self with your doing self is to write them down. Some people find it helpful to make a contract with themselves and sign it thus making their plans official and at the forefront of their minds. By writing down your resolutions they will seem more concrete than if you just mull them over in your head.
Break Your Resolutions Down
Apply yourself to one resolution at a time and break that down into smaller steps. For example, if you have resolved to get fitter first choose your exercise of choice. If you decide on swimming say, your next step could be to investigate local pools and opening hours. Then you could reserve some time to buy the correct kit or a session researching the best methods to get started. Before you know it you will have everything in place and be in the right mindset to literally take the plunge and get into your new fitness regime.
Use Positive Language
The nature of resolutions is that they are difficult and require perseverance and positivity to reach the goal. Avoid negative language when talking about your commitment, rather than think: “I just can’t be bothered to go to the swimming pool today” instead focus on the plus points and you’ll soon be telling yourself: “I always feel really alive after 30 lengths – I can’t wait to get to the pool tonight”.
Give Yourself Time
It’s widely recognised that it takes 21 days to form a habit so your resolution is unlikely to stick if you try to implement it completely on day one. This is certainly true when you try to give up something as addictive as cigarettes. Rather than go cold turkey on the first of January maybe set a date for total cessation towards the end of the month and decrease your intake daily so that when the big day comes it won’t be such an enormous shock to the system.
Seek Out Support
A problem shared s a problem halved so let people know what you are doing and get some support. Tell your friends and loved ones your resolutions and let them help you on your way to success. For the really tough ones – like stopping smoking – you could even join an online support group and take advantage of a circle of people who you can lean on at any time and who know exactly what you are going through. Like minded people can be a wonderful source of advice and support.
If you manage to hit your goals then it is important to celebrate that success. However, don’t be tempted to regress as part of that celebration. If you’ve successfully cut down on alcohol for instance don’t waste your hard work with a night down the boozer. Instead treat yourself to a new outfit or a weekend break. Just remember to celebrate your success – you deserve it.