New Year’s Resolutions. So, here we are and I am sure I am not the only one to be glad to see the back of 2020! Should we even be thinking about making New Year’s resolutions after the roller coaster year we have all had….?!
There is always something nice about beginning a new year – a fresh new page and chance for new beginnings and reinvention. So we possibly should not give up on our resolutions yet, as they can and should be a trigger for positive changes in our lives.
5 tips to ensure your resolutions are successful!
Studies show that 80% of us have given up on our New Year’s resolutions by February, (!) while just 8% of people actually achieve their goals. Mince alors! So what are the key factors which ensure success? Behavioral change experts have identified a number of strategies which can help to ensure you succeed.
- Prioritise. While you may have a very long list of goals and objectives for 2021, it’s better to prioritise. There is no rush! Allow yourself a period of reflection to choose the ones which you feel are the most important. My personal tip is that I generally aim for three – one health-related, one work-related and one related to self-development – I like to challenge myself to learn something new every year!
- Keep them specific. Once you have chosen your resolutions, the next step is to clearly define them, so they are both manageable and achievable. Think baby steps, as you can always set additional goals once you have achieved your original goal. For example: ‘Give up eating sugar’ could be transformed as a first goal to ‘ I will replace my sugary snack in the afternoon with a portion of fruit’. This is specific and clear. Once you are easily munching on your fruit in the afternoon, you could set yourself a second goal of ‘Reduce the sugar in my tea/coffee by 50%’. The aim is for your changes to become long term healthy habits and creating a step by step approach is an effective way to do this.
- Anticipate any barriers in advance! For example, If you have set a goal of ‘Go running 3 times a week’, choose your days in advance and note them in your agenda. Given that it’s generally easier to exercise first thing in the morning (before the day gets in the way!), you could aim to set your morning alarm 30 minutes earlier, and keep your running shoes by right by your bed.
For those of you who have resolved to ‘Drink less alcohol’, ensure that you have non alcoholic alternatives to hand for when you do feel like a drink. You can also plan strategies for relaxing and unwinding at the end of the day which do not involve drinking.
- Ensure your resolutions will ultimately make you feel good! There’s a balance between pushing yourself and punishing yourself ! And if there is no positive benefit to your resolution, then it is completely logical, that you will eventually give up. If you loathe running, then setting yourself a goal of training for a marathon, is not going to work. There’s no point doing a hardcore 30 day detox diet of juices if you are going to feel hungry, miserable and tired. And I’m also going to underline from a health perspective, a diet ‘detox’ is a complete waste of time – your kidneys and liver are all you need! 🙂
A resolution which allows you to feel and see the benefit, for example aiming to keep your mobile out of the bedroom, which then leads to better quality sleep and higher energy levels, means that you are more likely to continue doing it.
- Remain optimistic and stay positive! The aim is not to be too hard on yourself if you break one of your resolutions. You can simply get back on track when you can. Being too critical increases the risk that you might give up completely. And, let’s remember, no one is asking you to be perfect 100% of the time!
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