It is a New Year and you have all probably already made (and broken!) your New Year’s resolutions. Don’t worry though – keeping to New Year’s resolutions is easier said than done! Some even stop making them all together, in an effort to avoid the heartbreaking experience of not keeping them.
However, the real reason we make New Year’s resolutions is because we have this thing in us called “hope” that makes us aspire to be more than what we are, or were. We want to be better, we want to have and be more – and what better time to start something new, than a new year, which is filled with hope and the promise of something new?
So today we will be talking about how people keep their New Year’s resolutions (at least until June)…
1: Keep doing it!
Many think that keeping to your New Year’s resolutions is simple; all you need is to want it bad enough. The reasoning behind this is simple enough: if you want it bad enough, the motivation will just ooze out of you. However, this is not the case! Motivation does not just come because you want it to. Motivation, like most things worthwhile, takes work and practice. Therefore, the best way to keep on doing something is to keep on doing something! The first step is to really think about what you want to get done and then to set and create a workable plan. Then make sure you keep to it, no matter what!
2: Make a plan
Most New Year’s resolutions fail because people do not have a workable plan. Yes, it is a great idea to get up 4 in the morning and go to the gym and gym for an hour and then get dressed and go to work, but is this something which suits your lifestyle? The best New Year’s resolutions are those that work. So break your plan down into small, doable steps. Start small and work your way up. For example, before just waking up two hours earlier than normal to go to the gym, try to wake up just half an hour earlier each day.
3: Take it one change at a time
It can be very overwhelming to try and do everything all at once. Therefore, prioritise the changes you want to make and do them one at a time. Remember a New Year’s resolution is a lifestyle change – it is a marathon, not a sprint.
P.S. Don’t be too hard on yourself, change doesn’t just happen. It takes time and work.
4: Don’t make absolute New Year’s resolutions
Change is hard, there is no two ways about it, so don’t do it all at once and don’t make absolute resolutions like “I will never use my credit card again”. They make your life very hard and they are a bit unrealistic. Remember, you most likely did not develop this bad habit overnight and will most likely not get rid of it in one fell swoop. Don’t get me wrong, this is not an excuse you can use to get yourself out of doing what you set out to do, it is just a cautionary reminder that it will take time and dedication.
5: Make the choice over and over again
The biggest fallacy when it comes to New Year’s resolutions is that once you have made your choice, all that is left is doing it. Nope, sorry – making that choice is not a once-off thing, it is a choice you have to make every day and probably more than once each day. For example, if you want to eat healthier, it means each time you make a meal, order a meal, or have a meal, you have to choose the healthier option. Unfortunately, the healthier option is not always the most attractive option. Know this and prepare.
6: Stop seeing your change as a punishment
Remember why you are doing this. You are doing it to enrich your life and make yourself better or healthier. Therefore, stop going fifty shades of anger on everyone around you or complaining 24/7 about how you wish you could have the donut. Worthwhile changes are never easy, but they are almost always worth it.
7: Get a buddy
Having someone to help with the change or, better yet, go through the change with you, helps. The reason this helps is because, on some weird level, you feel better that someone else is feeling your pain of not being able to eat that donut. Your buddy will also be great in motivating you on days when you just don’t feel like it, and vice versa. Note of caution: don’t get a “Negative Nelly” to be your buddy, as she will most likely just make you feel worse about your choices (and then give you a donut)! Rather find someone who is motivated for this change and who is excited for you in making the change.
Hope this helped! Good luck with those New Year’s resolutions and repeat after me: “2017 is my year!!!!”