Tips for keeping your New Years' resolutions on track
The New Year is coming and many of us are setting resolutions to get off to a great start. However, a university study found that of those who set resolutions, 78% generally fail1. While we hope you succeed in making your goal work, we know that achieving one's resolutions isn't always easy. Whatever your resolution, whether you're trying to lose those excess pounds, learn to play a new instrument, quit smoking, or simply make that commitment you keep letting slip, we've put together a list of tips we hope will help you on your journey.
Make your resolution specific
When making your resolution try to avoid creating goals that are too general or ambiguous like `getting healthier' or `losing weight'. Without a clear target you may get lost along the way. Instead, sit down and focus on exactly what you want to do and how you want to achieve it. Make your goals as specific as possible. If you want to lose weight then go a step further and state how much you want to lose and by when.
Make your resolution realistic
You know yourself better than anyone, and know how well you can adhere to a goal or plan. Before setting a resolution ask yourself if it's something you can actually see yourself doing. Don't say you're going to run a marathon if you can't see yourself actually training for it. If your resolution is too hard to achieve, you may become discouraged and give up.
While you may not want to announce your resolutions to your entire Twitter following, try telling your close friends and family. By verbalising your resolutions you make them real and you will likely feel accountable to not just yourself, but those around you. Your friends and family are also your best support system and by telling them what you want to achieve, hopefully they will be there to help you succeed in your goals.
Put your goals on paper and keep track of your success. If you're goal is to get fit, buy yourself a calendar and put a gold star on each date you manage to fit in a work out. Or if you're trying to learn to play the piano, keep track of every time you practice.
Get a partner
Find someone with a similar goal and work together to achieve it. By working with someone else you can help each other stick to your promises. It's far more difficult to blow off going to the gym if you're also blowing off your friend in the process. Just make sure you pick a partner who wants to stick with it as much as you do!
Your goals may be grand is scale, and that's okay, but if it's taking a long time to achieve them, you may become disheartened and lose your resolve. The best way to combat this is to break your goal down into smaller, more readily achievable steps. If your hope is to lose 40kg by year's end, then cut that 40kg into smaller chunks throughout the year. And make sure to celebrate each small success.
Don't be afraid to stumble
Nobody is perfect and while you may hope to achieve your resolutions right off the bat, you may have setbacks along the way. The important part is to make sure you don't let yourself get discouraged and give up. Stay positive, acknowledge your mistakes, and learn from them. And most importantly, get back to work! You don't have to wait for the next New Year to restart your resolution.
Originally published 06/01/2015