How many times have you made a New Year’s Resolution?

Probably many, or you’ve at least thought about it countless times. Why don’t they work? Why do we fail at ‘starting afresh’ time again? Because of a lack of the following, your ‘New Year’s Resolution’ may not have lasted beyond the first two weeks of January. Let’s look at ways you can turn that ‘resolution’ into a new habit or lifestyle! 

1. Planning/ Creating a timeline

Do you find yourself caught up in the moment and declaring amongst your friends and family at midnight that you’re finally going to start bike riding EVERY DAY or go cold turkey on a habit of yours? The risk of making a promise on the impulse can mean that you set yourself up for something that you might not be in the position to maintain. Starting off with a plan/timeframe, or working out how you wish to form/break a habit will ensure that it’s easier to stay on track because you’ve carefully considered how to be successful.

2. Having a goal

Are you being ambiguous in your New Year’s Resolution making? Do you want to just ‘lose weight’, ‘go to the gym’ or ‘read your bible more’? OR would you rather ‘lose five kilos’, ‘go to the gym three times a week’ or ‘read your bible every day for thirty minutes’? When you’re not specific in your goal making, it can be hard to monitor and measure your progress. Having targets, and even starting off with smaller ones will make your success keeping more manageable.

3. Being Realistic

This is where many of us go wrong! We truly believe that we can effectively change everything about ourselves overnight. Olympic Swimming Athletes probably didn’t put the pressure on themselves to go for gold before they had even learned how to do backstroke. Successful CEO’s had to work their way up the ranks over many years. A marathon runner prepared and trained before they seriously attempted to run 42km’s. 

 Don’t ask yourself to do something that cannot be achieved overnight or you’ll get disappointed with yourself. Do not resent the day of small beginnings, because all things must start somewhere. Be realistic with your New Year’s Resolutions.

4. Accountability

Having someone to ask how you’re going can make all the difference when trying to achieve a goal. We often need individuals in our lives to help keep us on track, and knowing that someone is going to ask if you’ve stuck to your resolution can keep you on task. Ask someone to journey alongside you, even if it’s for something you might think is silly. We all need accountability.

5. Persistency

Keep at it!! Persistency is the key to keeping your New Year’s Resolutions. Keep at it and DON’T GIVE UP! Did you mess up once? Well don’t beat yourself up over it! IT DOESN’T MEAN THAT IT’S ALL OVER! This is why so many people ‘fail’ at keeping their resolutions – it’s because they don’t allow any room for failure, giving up completely when they do. Instead, let your setback be an opportunity for a come back!!

6. Acknowledging the little changes

Taking one step at a time, and seeing these little changes is imperative when it comes to keeping a New Year’s Resolution. You might not see instantaneous change in what you set out to achieve, but you need to give yourself where credit it is due, even if you haven’t reached the end yet. Lots of small wins will amount to a large one – you can do it!

So get planning, have a specific and realistic goal, find an accountability partner, be persistent and give yourself credit when you see little changes! You got this – bring on 2018!

– Written by Ellyse Brooks, Digital Media Specialist