“Everything you want in the world is just right outside your comfort zone”

New years Resolutions.

Another year has flown by and a new year is upon us. Feeling fully rested and recharged we feel like we can take on anything. This is the time New Years Resolutions are in full swing.

Common resolutions might be:

eat healthier
exercise more
read more
learn a new skill or sport

With the increasing work load and life constraints research shows we usually only carry on our resolutions for the first two weeks.

So why do we break our promises and fall back into old habits? Below are some strategies to use and maybe a different way to look at New Years resolutions.

Be Specific
With any resolution or goal, there must be an end point. This is so you can track progress and know when you have achieved your goal. It feels good when you complete it too which gives us motivation to do more. Some examples are:

Eat chocolate once a week
Go the the gym 6 times in January
Read 5 books by March
Complete a half marathon in the summer

When we set a clear goal with a timeframe, it becomes measured and we have a clear deadline to work towards.

Set Action Steps
Now you know exactly what needs to be done and by when, this is where you set things out into small manageable chunks. Think of rungs of a ladder, climbing each over time to reach the top!

Eat chocolate once a week – look into healthier chocolate alternatives, choose 1 minute time slots eat chocolate a couple of days a week
Go to the gym 6 times in January – think of the days and times this would work best, or book yourself into classes that suit your schedule
Read 5 books by March – think of the best place and times of day you can dedicate to reading
Complete half marathon in the summer – research into training specifics or other smaller races to take part in.

Focus on the positive
When your goals are specific and realistic from the start we are more likely to follow through on them. Don’t beat yourself up if you don’t stick to things 100%. Reframe your thoughts and language. “I didn’t meet my goal this week, but I will work towards it next week” “I ate more chocolate today, thats OK I will eat healthier tomorrow”

When we are accountable towards our goals and recognise the small wins along the way we take charge of it and can become more motivated to stick to them rather than falling off the wagon.

Punishment or Reward
There is a far greater reason for us to stick to our resolutions if something is at stake. This is where a punishment or reward holds us accountable. A punishment out beats a reward every time!

Set a betting poole with friends – set to loose a set amount of money if you don’t follow through

Public embarrassment – something your friends and family can think of. Just hope it’s not too mean!

Have an accountability partner – this could be a friend, or spouse. Someone to keep you on track when we feel like giving up.

Try not to set the bar too high. It doesn’t matter how efficient something is, if you don’t adhere to it, it doesn’t work!