Well, it’s that time of the year again when many of us once again get involved in the often disappointing and usually downright futile ritual of making New Year resolutions to try and improve our lives. Christmas seems long gone, you have overindulged and so your thoughts turn to a new year, a new beginning and a new you.
Despite the fact that we enter into this with the best of intentions and that we are all very confident of success at the beginning, it is estimated that over 85% of those who set New Year Resolutions fail to achieve them. Indeed, most of our good intentions are dead in the water by the end of January. Why is this so?
Well experts say that the most common reason is that we have not set any goals for our challenges or that they are totally unrealistic or that we try and take on too many issues at once.
Changing human behaviour is one of the hardest things we can attempt to do. And yet at this time of the year, we unrealistically try to do it, fail and then beat ourselves up.
Make sure that your resolution is one which really matters to you and that you are doing it for the right reasons. Here are some of the most common New Year resolutions and some tips.
Keep a check on your health.
Cut down on alcohol, quit smoking, seek professional help if needed.
Increase physical activity.
Become more active, join a gym or local exercise group, but don’t leap straight into exercising 5 times a week. Start off slowly maybe with a walk several times a week.
Eat a healthier diet.
Be mindful of what you eat, cut down on sweets and processed food, ditch takeaways and junk food, eat smaller portions, learn to cook.
Eat healthier and increase your activity level.
Improve personal wellbeing.
Get better sleep quality, ban mobiles and television from your bedroom, take a step back from social media by rationing your use of it.
Keep in touch more.
Schedule in time to phone friends and family.
Declutter your place.
Start small, one room at a time, make sure everything has a place, wash up after each meal, donate to charity shops.
Here are the key essential steps you must take to give yourself the best chance of success whatever your New Year resolution.
Planning is essential. No matter how good your intentions are in January you will not be successful by going about this in a sloppy, half-hearted manner. Don’t be vague, write down what you want to achieve and post reminders which can be easily seen around the house, in your bag, wallet or purse or in the fridge. Now think about how you are going to do it, develop an action plan and set a realistic timeframe.
Have both short and long term goals so that you will always be working towards something in sight. Always measure and monitor your progress. Share each successful step with friends and family. Join with others in your community who wish to achieve similar goals. If you have no one close to congratulate you, write your achievement on a postcard and post it to yourself.
Don’t get disheartened if you have setbacks along the way. It is not the end of the world, learn from your mistakes and keep your ultimate goal in sight.