Given up on your New Year’s Resolution yet? Posted by Wellbeing People on 10 January, 2018

It’s been a few days since many of us sat down and made our New Year’s resolutions. The majority of those resolutions will have been strongly linked to our health and wellbeing.  According to a YouGov poll the top two New Year’s resolutions are to do more exercise and to eat a healthier diet, with the next two being giving up smoking and reducing alcohol intake.

Though some may view New Year’s Resolutions with a sense of derision and laugh at the inevitable failure of those who make them, the impact this tradition can have is immense. Every resolution, if kept up for a whole year, has the potential to change an individual’s life. However, even the false starts and failed attempts can make a difference, as they put emphasis on health and wellbeing, which is often left neglected at other times of year.  So for those of you who are keeping to your New Year’s resolution or, more importantly, for those of you who have already ‘failed’, here are a few tips on how to keep your New Year’s resolutions going throughout the year.

Pick the right resolution

A lot of resolutions fail because they’re not the right resolutions. If it’s a resolution created based on what someone else (or society) is telling you to change, then you are more likely to get demoralised when things aren’t going perfectly.

It’s important to pick a resolution that is achievable to fit in with your lifestyle and other commitments, you still have a life to live, and your resolution shouldn’t get in the way of that.

Plan

A plan is essential when tackling a New Year’s resolution. Most of the changes we would like to make about ourselves won’t happen overnight!  So, it’s vital to set yourself achievable, sensible goals to work towards. For example, if your trying to give up smoking, set yourself the challenge of five times a day sucking a sugar-free mint instead of smoking a cigarette.  After a while expand that goal to ten times a day, then twenty, each time feeling the buzz of succeeding in your goal.

The same theory can be applied to exercise and the distance you run or the amount you work out, or to dieting and the amount of treats you eat.  Success is a destination, plan on how you are going to get there.

Find a Community

Social media can become your best friend!  There are thousands of support groups around, jam packed full of people all trying to achieve the same goal.  Joining one of these groups and seeing other people’s success can really help you in trying to achieve your own success.  If you ever feel like you’re going to fail, sharing that with a group means you may find the encouragement and camaraderie you need to soldier on.

It’s also important to learn to ignore those who push back against your decision to change. People ridiculing you for doing exercise, or getting a ribbing from the people you used to go outside to smoke with, can cause you to easily slip back into bad habits.  If you clearly state what you’re trying to achieve, and that person continually pushes back, it may be a sign that the relationship isn’t a good one for you.

Enjoy Overcoming Challenges

Reaching your goals is the whole reason you started a resolution in the first place, you should be able to enjoy reaching those goals! It could be a single night of indulgence, buying yourself a gift, or going out somewhere you enjoy, achieving your goals is a sign that all the hard work is paying off; so celebrate it!

Learn from your mistakes

There is no such thing as ‘failing’ your resolution until you have completely given up on it. It doesn’t matter if you achieve your goal on the first, sixth or twentieth try, the important thing is that you achieved it.

It also helps to think of New Year as just another day, so feel free to start again whenever you like. Whether it’s from your birthday, Valentine’s Day, or even a new working week, don’t be scared to give it another go. You don’t need to wait for a whole year to come around to achieve your goals, learn from the mistakes you made the first time, and apply them to your next attempt.

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