You, like half of the population, may have made a New Year’s resolution this month. And some of you may have already broken them. It’s surprising how quickly we can call it quits, even when we start off with the best intentions. And with everyone else seemingly giving up and making a joke out of it, it’s easy to dismiss your own resolution with an ‘oh well.’
Just one week into January and #ResolutionFails is already trending on Twitter…
So what’s going wrong? Here are the likely suspects:
- An unspecific resolution is more likely to fail due to it’s ambiguity. It is vague and may cover too big an area for you to manage successfully. There is no distinct goal to aim for.
- An unrealistic resolution leaves you prone to guilt and feeling like a failure. Hardly an effective motivator.
- A resolution relying solely on willpower is tempting you to fall off track.
For a resolution to work you need to change the way you think and behave. Not an easy task, let alone for changing a habit – something well ingrained into your routine. If it’s something you’ve been meaning to change for a couple of years, evaluate the way you’re approaching it. You can’t use the same method and expect different results in the hope that this time it’ll be different.
Here are some of the best ways to help you keep your resolution this year:
- Be specific. This will make it easier for you to follow your goal and know whether you’re still on track.
- Start small. Motivating yourself to start something is more difficult than keeping it up. Starting small means you’re less likely to say no. As your motivation strengthens, gradually increase your goal. Focus on building one behaviour into your life at a time. Once that becomes routine, you’re in a better position to introduce another.
- Schedule your new habit into your routine. Make it non-negotiable. Ritualising it in this way will re-wire your brain, fixing your new habit into place.
- Focus on the behaviour not the outcome. Don’t overwhelm yourself by thinking too far into the future where the result seems unattainable. Realise that it is a process and think about what you can do today to help achieve it. New goals don’t deliver new results, new lifestyles do.
- Partner up. It’s easier to complete a difficult task when you have someone there to spur you on or answer to when you feel like slacking. You may be working on similar goals together or they may just be someone you can report to.
- Celebrate your success! Don’t wait until the end point to reward yourself. Keep motivation high by celebrating small milestones along the way.
And remember, if you really are struggling, there’s no harm in adjusting your goals. It’s better than giving up and not meeting them at all.
A successful resolution is not just for New Year’s – it’s for life.
If you liked this post, check out: Slow-Mo Living
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