As we all know, New Year is a time when many of us make resolutions to change and improve our lives in some way. However, we also know that for most of us, it’s not always quite that simple.
Whether it’s stopping smoking, losing weight, taking up a hobby, or something else, it can be tough to stick to your New Year’s resolutions. If you’re struggling, here are some tips for staying the course and making these changes a part of your everyday life.
Don’t worry if you slip up
Only those with the most exceptional willpower and dedication will manage to take on their New Year’s resolutions without lapses from time to time, so you shouldn’t worry if you don’t go for that run or succumb to that piece of chocolate cake. The most important thing is that you carry on with your resolution and not beat yourself up about not sticking to it 100%.
Remind yourself how your resolution will improve your life
When things are getting tough, you can easily forget just why you’re doing it in the first place. Keep reminding yourself of your long term goals and try and resist putting those at risk for the sake of your short term urges. For example, if you’re trying to lose weight, focus on getting into that dress you love, or being able to play with your kids without being out of breath.
Break your resolution down into several mini resolutions
If you’re having a hard time sticking to your main goal, then try breaking it up into smaller, more manageable goals. For example, if you’re really struggling to quit smoking, then maybe move the goalposts and just focus on cutting down to 5 a day first before stopping completely. Likewise, if you wanted to run a half marathon but you’re not getting very far, then focus on a 10K first. It’ll feel much less of an undertaking and you’ll feel like you’re making more tangible progress.
If you’re setting yourself mini resolutions, as mentioned in the previous point, then you should reward yourself for hitting meeting those goals. Whether this is a meal out, a new pair of shoes, or whatever else, by rewarding yourself, you will give yourself a sense of progress and be more motivated to hit that next sub-goal and get another reward. It’s basic psychology but it works!
Keep a resolution diary
By keeping a diary of your progress, whether good or bad, you can clearly see how you’re getting on. When you’re struggling, you can read back through it, and it’s guaranteed you’ll be shocked at exactly how far you’ve actually come, which is great motivation to keep going. Include photos as well for even more concrete evidence of your progress.
Don’t compare yourself with others
In the age of social media, it can be all too easy to compare yourself to others and what’s happening in their life. However, you need to remember that your resolutions are just that: yours. Don’t judge how you’re getting on by what other people are doing; just try and focus on the fantastic progress you’re making.
Get help from friends and family
Tell your friends and family about your resolutions and they will more than likely do their bit to help you, especially if you ask them to! They might make sure they cook something healthy if you go round for dinner, or they might join you on a run, or just check in with support every now and again.