The week after Christmas usually brings us time for contemplation. You’ve eaten your own body weight in Christmas trimmings, snacks and chocolate, every cork in the house has been popped and the festivities are over before you even realise it. Now you find yourself faced with clothes that are tighter than usual, a realisation that you might want to cut down on your drinking and a sense of impending doom at having to return to that job you hate. In other words, you find yourself thinking, ‘it’s time for a change’.
There’s something special about deciding to change your life at the start of a new year. Once the clock strikes midnight, it feels as though anything is possible. You can lose that weight, you can find a new job, you can make that change! However, the reality is that more than half of us will start and fail at our New Year’s resolutions within the first month of the year. Our good intentions get left by the wayside as life gets in the way and we find ourselves breaking all of the promises we made.
In today’s blog, we’re going to look at ways that we can keep our resolutions and change our lives for the better. No more failure and no more feeling bad about ourselves! It’s time to grab hold of that new year and make it work for you.
Choose the Right Resolution For You
Before you start promising yourself that you’re going to change every single facet of your life that you’re unhappy with all at once, pump your brakes! It’s okay to set yourself goals but make sure that they are realistic. Most resolutions fail because they are either too vague or there is no realistic plan for achieving them.
Make sure you choose a resolution that is right for you and is something that you can actually achieve. Resolutions such as ‘winning the lottery’ are simply not realistic, mainly because it’s not a goal that you can work towards and it’s not something that you have any control over. Pick one or two resolutions that you can actually devote time and effort to and go from there.
Make a Sensible Plan
Unfortunately, achieving your goals isn’t just going to magically happen. If we could wave a magic wand and instantly lose 10 pounds then I’d be first in the queue, believe me! Instead, you’re actually going to have to put some work into making a plan for how you’re going to get there.
For instance, if your goal is to get fit and lose weight then you’re going to have to spend some time planning your meals and making time to exercise. Going in all guns blazing won’t help you to sustain your resolution. Instead, make small, sensible changes to your lifestyle that you’ll be able to maintain and carry on with throughout the year.
Don’t Worry About Minor Setbacks
None of us are saints so there will inevitably be days when you just don’t feel like following your plan. You might be too tired to make that healthy meal when you get home or you might have had every intention of going for a run but you slept through your alarm. Whatever the reason, when you’re making your plan, you have to expect a few slip-ups here and there.
The important thing is not to feel down about yourself. Instead, focus on all of the good things that you’ve been doing and promise yourself that you’ll start again tomorrow. Be positive and realistic and try to make your schedule as flexible as possible. Change is hard and it may feel like it’s impossible at times, but you can do it. You just need to believe in yourself, realise that you’re not superwoman, pick yourself up and keep going.
Create a Support Network
No matter what you’re trying to achieve, it can be hard to keep holding yourself accountable without any outside support. Instead, find one or two trusted friends or family members and let them in on your goal. Ask them for their support and to hold you accountable when you slip up. Making your goal public will challenge you and keep you on the straight and narrow.
If your challenge involves drinking less or stopping smoking, it’s a good idea to cut back on the time you spend with bad influencers who tend to egg on the behaviour that you’re looking to stop. Let them know that you’re serious about making a change but still want to spend time with them. If they don’t stop trying to get you to indulge in the bad habit then they may not be such a good friend after all.
Try, Try Again
Sometimes in life, we all fail at things for one reason or another. The important thing is not to beat yourself up about it. You’re not alone. If that goal is something that you really want to achieve, then there’s no reason that you can’t start afresh and try again. Rather than tying it to New Year’s, you can start again on a Monday or your birthday or the beginning of the month.
Be kind to yourself and acknowledge that just by committing to trying again, you’re already achieving something. We are often much harder on ourselves then we would ever dream of being to anyone else. Don’t put yourself down. You don’t deserve your own scorn because, guess what? You made the decision to try.
We hope that this article will help you to succeed with your New Year’s resolutions this year. Remember, take it slow and steady and you’ll get there in the end! The important thing is that you just keep trying.