It’s that time of year again when we start thinking about our New Year’s resolutions. Come January the 1st we’ll be starting the year with the determined mindset of Black Friday shoppers! Whether that be to lose weight, stop smoking, give up drinking or take up running – 2018 will definitely be the year!
As we arise on January 1st we can almost feel the first twitching of doubt creep in, after all ‘there’s all that Christmas food still to eat and I hate waste and ‘technically, I’ve already failed as I didn’t stop drinking at midnight/I had a cigarette at 1am/there was that celebration cupcake I ate when I got in!’
We know the drill, I imagine many of us have been there on more than one occasion.
The start of the new year is not a good time for me – I get so excited about Christmas, by the time the 1st of January comes around I’m crying into my crunchy nut wondering why my life isn’t like all the Christmas movies I’ve binge-watched since October. Yep, your neighbour might be up at 6am on January 1st, donning their new running gear and sprinting off down the road, but does that mean it’s the right time for you to do it? Does it mean you should feel bad because you’re not doing it? Just seeing their Facebook update makes you want to drown your sorrows in the leftover brie and crackers!
By the time February comes, most of us have given up with our resolutions, but why?
- Because our resolutions are unachievable– were you really going to be completely alcohol free, particularly with the upcoming girl’s trip to Tenerife and your partners 40th?
- We don’t make our goals clear – I want to lose weight by May doesn’t mean much in the grand scheme of things!
- We give ourselves a hard time every time we go off track.
- We don’t actually want to do it!
- We let the whole world know what we’re doing and then feel the added pressure of everyone finding out if we haven’t succeeded.
- We compare ourselves to others.
So, how do we make positive and lasting changes? Read my top tips below for successful change!
- Start when you want to! Change can start any time and is going to be much more successful if that time is defined by you. Also, don’t keep waiting for Monday – if you decide you’re going to make a change start then, even if it’s Wednesday – go on be a rebel!
- Make your goals achievable. Look at your long term goal, for example, I want to lose 2 stone, then break it down. Making one change each week can make a huge difference. If you’re eating 3 biscuits every day, changing that to one biscuit a day would be a manageable change, but still get you towards your goal.
- Write your weekly goal somewhere you can see it. I love using post it notes to remind myself of my goals or for motivational quotes. This will help keep you on track.
- Don’t feel you’ve failed if you lapse. Having that cake yesterday is not going to ruin everything, but if you continued to eat cake every day that probably would affect you. Forget it and get back on track.
- Accountability! If you can, find someone who you feel comfortable with to share your goals. Maybe you even have a friend or family member who has set their own goal and you can work together to give encouragement, support and positivity during the tough times. You can even turn to a professional, things like stopping smoking are particularly successful with professional help.
- Don’t compare! We are all individuals, with different starting points. Remember, not everything on social media is as it seems – once your neighbour is out of sight you don’t know whether they’re running or reading the paper and eating a doughnut at the local café!
- Celebrate success, no matter how small! Recognise your achievements. It’s ok to be proud of ourselves.