With 2020 out of the blocks and the prospect of a brand new decade ahead of us, this January could see more people than ever before striving to make those all-important changes to their lives in the form of New Year’s resolutions.
New Year’s resolutions have become as customary a part of a new year as firework-riddled celebrations and drunken choruses of “Auld Lang Syne”, with many people pledging to make healthier lifestyle choices, kick old habits or commit to learning a new skill in an attempt to engender a fresh start. Yet, that doesn’t mean that such intended life transformations are always successful, with a meagre 8% of people managing to see these things through to completion. In fact, 75% have fallen off the wagon before the arrival of February!
And, whether you’re choosing to cut down on alcohol, stub the cigarettes out for good, embark on a daily exercise regime or learn a new language, managing to make a successful go of escaping your comfort zone can be extremely challenging. But I’m here to help!
With the Prosecco-tinted optimism often fading into failure for so many, usually with January still in full flow, read on to give yourself the best chance of succeeding in accomplishing your goals, even when the going gets tough!
Top Tips For Successful New Year’s Resolutions
- Be realistic: Don’t set yourself up to fail. Most resolutions fall flat because they’re simply not achievable and place too much pressure on you to succeed. A life change should be a gradual, slow-building process, not something that can be achieved overnight!
- Be persistent: An overhaul in your normal routine isn’t going to be easy, so don’t think that everything’s going to be plain sailing. Stick with it, and draw on your willpower if you’re finding things difficult. Remember why you’re making this change and use this as the motivation to get you through the tough times.
- Be kind to yourself: Old habits die hard, as the saying goes. And anyone attempting to turn their back on something that was such a fundamental part of their lives will be met with temptation along the way. If you are struggling to hang in there, or you do end up slipping up momentarily, don’t beat yourself up about it. Making a significant lifestyle change is a marathon, not a sprint. Take everything as it comes, and be kind to yourself along the way.
- Break things down into manageable steps: Resolutions can be rather vague and trying to achieve such a big feat can seem overwhelming. The best advice here is to break your goal down into manageable steps. If you’re trying to give up smoking, for example, it might be a good idea to limit yourself to fewer cigarettes as the weeks pass by, rather than trying to go cold turkey too early in the process. Weight loss is another instance where overarching targets can prove daunting and difficult to meet. How will this be achieved? Will you go to the gym twice a week? Walk instead of drive? Cook more food from scratch? It’s better to make small changes to your normal routine than fold under the stress of trying to become a completely different person in an instant.
- It’s good to talk: Don’t try and achieve things in silence. Let your family and friends in on what you’re planning to do – this will help you to establish an instant network of support. Some of these people may also be wanting to make changes to their lives and you could provide each other with a source of motivation when this is needed most. There are also, of course, many groups out there who share similar goals or specialise in a certain interest, from weight loss groups to running clubs.
- Reward yourself: It’s quite likely that your resolution will be centred around eliminating a vice from your life, be it fast food, alcohol or cigarettes. It’s, therefore, a good idea to reward yourself with something that makes you happy in celebration of all of your hard work. Buy yourself that new pair of shoes, or go on an exciting day trip somewhere, after all, life is there to be enjoyed and your resolution should be about making a change for the better. Give yourself something to show for the positive adjustments you’ve made!
Most importantly of all, remember to have fun with whatever New Year’s resolution you make for the coming year. Successfully managing to stick to a pledge will give you an increase in confidence and have a positive impact on your life as a whole. So, follow my tips and give it your best shot. Make 2020 your best year yet!