Whatever your main goal is, do your research and try to quantify or measure it in a realistic and sustainable way. If you’re looking to shed a few pounds it’s not realistic to aim to drop a stone in a month, and if you’re a novice runner you can’t expect to go from couch potato to marathon extraordinaire in a few short weeks. What’s more, setting the bar too high for yourself will create unnecessary stress and pressure. Instead, start small and if you find you can stretch yourself further than first thought simply update your ambitions!
Don’t Go It Alone
The great thing about New Year’s resolutions is that whichever promise you make yourself you can guarantee that there are thousands of others out there aiming for the same goal! Once you have a plan in place, seek out a community of likeminded individuals; whether that’s a forum, social media or group in your local area. The group morale and support is invaluable and there’s no shortage of communities pushing for the same goal – from Veganuary to Dry January and beyond!
The cliché about New Year’s resolutions stems from those age-old favourites chosen and promoted year after year – lose weight, banish the booze, stop smoking and the list goes on. But if you lead a healthy lifestyle then it’s likely your morale compass is guiding you away from these habits in the first place. If so, try to expand your horizons when it comes to resolutions and choose a more innovative goal to set – such as socialising more, being mindful or learning a new skill.
Use an App to Stay on Track
Results don’t always come instantly with New Year’s resolutions and so it can be tricky to stay motivated if progress is not smacking you in the face every morning! Apps are a great way to monitor and keep track of your goals and boost motivation to keep going. There’s a whole spectrum of goal-tracking apps out there and this tailored support can be a great way to keep your goal in mind and make sure you’re heading in the right direction.
Set Goals for Life, Not Just January
Lose weight in January, gain weight in February. Stop drinking in January, start again (with a vengeance!) in February; the pattern is all too familiar! Instead of setting yourself a one-month challenge, think of your resolutions as something you want to change for the whole year and beyond. Use January as your springboard for motivation with a view to instilling healthy habits that will last well into the year, if not forever.
Don’t Give Up at the First Hurdle
New Year’s resolutions are often a test of willpower and ability to curb cravings! As we are hard-wired to crave the things which give us pleasure, giving them up can prove hard work! For most of us, this means we may have a lapse of willpower – but don’t beat yourself up for one mistake. Instead, learn from it and figure out what you’ll do to stop it from happening next time.
The key to keeping resolutions is to dream big but plan small. By breaking your ultimate goal up into smaller, more manageable steps you can stay motivated and check you’re on track, as well as allowing yourself to make any tweaks to your original plan that will increase chances of success. Try making a list or keeping a journal of your progress to organise your ambition!
Have a Back-Up Plan
What happens if despite all your best efforts you just can’t get to grips with your New Year’s resolution? Don’t despair! You won’t be alone that’s for sure. We hope that the rest of these tips will help to give you the best chance of resolution success but if all else fails, ask yourself if the resolution is really important to you – if the answer is no, then forget about it! Move on and set yourself a new goal that means more to you.
The best thing about New Year’s resolutions is rewarding yourself when things go to plan. Remember, treating yourself is not a guilty pleasure. So, if you are bossing a healthy lifestyle and hitting your goals, why not reward yourself with something in-keeping with this such as a spa day, fancy haircut or duvet day. We all need some down time so make sure you allow yourself to rest, recover and rejuvenate – coming back stronger for round two!
Reflect, Reflect, Reflect!
One of the best ways we learn as human beings is to reflect on past experiences. By looking at what we set out to achieve in the first place, together with our successes and failures along the way we can help to plan for future goal setting. Reflection is all about self-awareness and personal growth, which are both super important for our mental health. They work in synergy to encourage a positive mindset and outlook, which will work wonders for any other challenges you decide to set yourself!
That’s our top 10 tips for making New Year’s resolutions that will last – we hope you are feeling motivated and inspired to get 2020 off to a great start! Remember, plan ahead, take it slow and always give yourself the praise you deserve. Challenging yourself is never a bad thing, so whatever the outcome you are sure to learn and grow along the way. Here’s to a happy, healthy and positive year ahead – good luck!
Author: Stephanie Masterman @NutriNoggin