A new year can mean only one thing, resolutions. Maybe you’re planning on giving up smoking, losing weight, exercise more or stress less. Maybe these resolutions sound like last years, too. That’s the problem with new years resolutions they can be hard to stick to. That’s because they require you be strict with yourself and change your behaviour which can be easier said than done, especially when life throws challenges at you.
New behaviours won’t come naturally overnight but you may recognise elements of them that you enjoy, and these can be motivational points. Because they can be hard to achieve, we’ve put together a list of pointers to help you achieve your goals in 2021.
Make your resolution realistic
There’s no point trying to do too many things at once or trying to achieve something massive in a short space of time. You may want to lose weight and give up smoking, for example, but are you going to be able to do both at the same time? So, if smoking is the more pressing issue try to cut down on that first and then tackle the next goal later.
That doesn’t mean you should eat copious amounts of junk food and snacks. You could try to incorporate healthier foods into your diet or fight the craving of eating something like chocolate to satisfy your nicotine cravings. Alternatively, you may wish to increase your physical activity, swapping the car for walking to work is a good example.
Choose something specific
When making your new year’s resolution you need to ask yourself 3 questions:
- Is it measurable?
- Is it specific?
- Is it attainable?
If you want to get fit in the new year, simply setting yourself the target of getting fit isn’t any of these. Instead, you could make it more specific such as I’d like to go to the gym 3 times a week or I’d like to lose x kilograms by a certain date or I’d like to be able to run 5k within 3 months. All of these are not only specific, but they are also measurable and attainable because they are realistic goals.
Tell people about your resolutions
A big mistake we all make is to not tell people we have set ourselves a new year’s resolution. The biggest reason for this is we don’t want to hear “I told you so” if we don’t meet them.
Sharing your resolutions with other people can help motivate you. Friends and family will also encourage you to achieve your goals and will offer you further support. You may also inspire others to join you on your mission, too.
Break down bigger goals into manageable chunks
If you’ve set yourself a massive target, breaking it down into a series of smaller goals is beneficial. For example, if your long-term goal is to run a marathon but you’re not really a runner, then first off you may want to begin by running 5k for a few months first and gradually building on this.
The same is true if you smoke 2 packets of cigarettes a day. Giving up completely in one go isn’t likely to work. Instead, you could cut out one of the cigarettes you smoke a day and then another and so on. Setting smaller more manageable goals is less intimidating and much more achievable.
Once you’ve reached a goal or specific milestone, don’t forget to reward yourself. Doing so, will help to motivate you to carry on and achieve the bigger goal. Rewards can be anything from binge-watching the latest Netflix series, to having a self-care pamper session.
Rome wasn’t built in a day as they say so making meaningful changes to yourself or your lifestyle takes patience and determination. It won’t happen overnight. There will be times when you’ll find it tough but try turning these into positives. Imagine what it will be like when you have achieved your goal and use your support network for further encouragement.
Stay Positive. You’ve got this.