A vast number of us make a healthy New Year’s resolution – maybe to lose weight, quit smoking or drink less alcohol – but few of us will stick to it. Why is that, and what can we do to make us more likely to keep to them?
Psychologists have found that we are much more likely to succeed in our resolutions if we make SMART resolutions – one that is specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-based.
- Make only one resolution rather than lots. When you channel all of your energy into changing one aspect of your behaviour or lifestyle, you are much more likely to succeed than if you have multiple ones.
- Think about how you will do it. If you are trying to lose weight, it is not enough to say ‘I am going to lose weight’ – you need to have an idea as to how you will go about it. Perhaps you will join a slimming group, or maybe you will try weight loss self hypnosis. Whatever you do, have a plan in place for how you are going to achieve it.
- Do not wait until New Year’s Eve or Day to decide on your resolution – spend some time thinking about it on the run up to the end of the year so that your mindset is right.
- Share your goals and resolutions. By telling your family, friends and even work colleagues about what you are hoping to achieve in the coming year, you have someone to hold you accountable. They are also less likely to sabotage your efforts as well by offering you a cookie or dragging you out for that drink!
- Give yourself a small reward whenever you achieve a sub-goal, which will help to motivate you and give you a sense of progress. Maybe for every pound that you lose, you could save five dollars ready to buy yourself a swanky new outfit when you hit your weight loss goal.
- Make your plans and goals concrete by popping them on the fridge or in your notebook, and ticking them off every time you hit a sub goal. Seeing that progress written down is hugely inspiring for most people.
- Do not worry too much if you slip up. Very few people hit a long term goal without making a few mistakes along the way, so if you do have that cookie or glass of wine, or you forget to go to the gym that week, do not beat yourself up. Just write that day or week off and start the next day afresh. One slip up does not mean that you have failed.
Hopefully, by putting some of these tips into practice, you will be much more likely to stick to your resolutions this new year and become a healthier and happier version of you. Remember, even the smallest progress is progress, so do not be disheartened if it seems to be going slowly. You have got this!