With every New Year comes the indescribable urge to change something. And with every New year’s resolution comes the fear of bailing or failing. But that doesn’t have to be the case.
Where to Start?
Changing bad habits or striving to be better in any aspect of your life is not as easy as it seems, something we don’t initially factor in to our plan. We see the success, but are not always willing to do the work and endure the effort required to get there.
So, how can you stick to your resolutions? Regardless of what your resolution is, here are a few pointers to help kick-start your year:
1. Keep your goals realistic
Look, we’re all for going for gold and pushing our limits, but if you’re currently in a 9 to 5 office job and decide that your New Year’s resolution is to become the next astronaut in space by the end of the year, you might have to take it down a notch.
Setting goals that are achievable means that the idea of sticking to them won’t be so overwhelming. So, if you want to lose or gain some weight by the end of the year, break up your target weight into smaller goals. For instance, by the end of Feb I want to have lost or gained 1 or 2kgs – it will require work but it’s definitely achievable, giving you the confidence you need to carry on.
2. Be accountable
There’s a reason we say ‘Together, made better’ – because it’s true! Most things seem easier and more fun when you collaborate with other people to enhance your experience. So, by stating your goals to friends, family or even just one person, makes you accountable for it – encouraging you to stick to them.
Even better, if you share a goal with someone close to you, you can tackle it together and be accountable to each other. This way, you can vent frustrations or concerns to someone who knows first-hand what you’re going through. Things like quitting smoking or starting a new gym routine can be more difficult than we anticipate, so having a buddy by your side can most certainly make it better.
3. Make your goals visible
Humans are creatures of habit. Sure the holiday season throws us a bit off course, but the majority of us have a routine that we stick to most of the year and resolutions generally throw a spanner in our perfectly crafted routines.
At the very start of your resolutions journey, it’s important to schedule your changes. For instance, write in your calendar ‘go to gym’, leave notes by your kettle about taking your new vitamins; book that appointment or sign up for that course.
Having these physical reminders helps you mentally change your routine to include it.
4. Forgive yourself
You’re a human, don’t be so hard on yourself. If you slip up, it’s ok – forget it and move on. Self-deprecation or mentally punishing yourself for slipping up is only going to make you not want to continue.
Acknowledge your error and learn from it as opposed to giving up all together.