Are you one of these people who makes new years resolutions only to break them by day 7? Are this years resolutions are the same as last years?
The start of a new year is a great time for many people to shed their old habits and to create new helpful ones via resolutions but sadly many people struggle to follow through with them. If you are one of these people, then keep reading. I'm hopeful that together we can change that for you once and for all.
Why do new years resolutions fail?
Whilst there's a lot of reasons why our new years resolutions fail, one of the main reasons are due to us setting ourselves up for so many changes that we want to make. It can be quite overwhelming. If I asked you to hold 10 things in your arms all at once, you'd struggle to keep them balanced and they'd eventually drop to the floor. Now imagine how that can be with your new years resolutions. Whilst I understand that yes it would be great to give up smoking, get up earlier each day, lose weight and join a gym. We are all only human and by setting your self up with that many changes all at once, you'll no doubt feel overwhelmed and more than likely feel like a failure if you break any or all of those resolutions.
What you need to do is set on 1 or a few resolutions that you feel you can give your all.
These can be anything that you want. Maybe you want to look at your finances and keep better tabs on your daily spending,
Look at those resolutions and see which one holds the most emotion with you.
How to change that situation?
Look at what you want to achieve for the year ahead. If you have quite a few resolutions that you would like to set, then write them down and look at which one holds the most emotion for you. Maybe you'd like to quit smoking once and for all? How about concentrating on your monthly budget? One a lot of people will be concentrating on this time of year is weight loss. Choose the one that holds the most emotions for you and use that as your new year resolution (It's best to have 1 one that you can focus and give your all rather than 3 or more)
Next you need to set yourself a clear vision. You need to be sure of what you are trying to achieve, how you are going to achieve it and what steps you need to take a long the way.
So for the sake of this post lets look at losing weight as I know this is probably a huge one for many people right now.
You may say to yourself - 'my new years resolution is to lose weight' but how much weight do you want to lose? By saying you want to lose weight, you could lose 1lb and bang you've done it but that's not very challenging is it?
Maybe you'd like to lose 2 stone in the coming year?
Fit into a certain dress again?
Get to a certain BMI maybe?
write it down so you truly feel it.
My advice to you is to get a journal and write down what you want to achieve from this new years resolution.
Next I want you to leave enough space in your journal to answer the following questions...
When do I want to achieve this by?
How am I going to achieve this?
What support do I need to help me achieve this?
What are the benefits of me achieving this?
What problems might I encounter along the way?
What you have done in a fun and round-a-bout way is set yourself a goal.
Resolutions don't have to be boring and commanding. Make it fun. So if you are setting a resolution to lose 28lbs, then make sure you reward yourself a long the way (in a non-food way). So after a 7lb weight loss, treat yourself to a facial, manicure (or something else you may enjoy). After 14lbs, maybe a new top. It's SO important for you to recognise these successes.
get an accountability partner...
Chances are there are people in your social circle who are setting themselves up for similar or the same new years resolutions as you. If you want to lose weight, then find yourself a friend who wants to get weighed on the same day as you. Swap meal ideas, meet up for a walk and catch up. Alternatively, facebook has some incredible support groups that you can join (depending on what your resolution is).
Hopefully this post has helped you to gain clarity and confidence to kick start the new year and truly achieve what you want
Alleyne is a qualified weight management counsellor, author and columnist.
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