How to stick to your New Year resolutions
With statistics showing that most people give up their resolutions about now, we thought we’d give you some inspiration to help you keep going through this make-or-break time.
Ensure your resolution is realistic
While it’s great to have a challenge to work to, don’t make it too challenging. Aiming to lose 3 stone by March? Then you may need to adjust your goal. A realistic weight goal for example is 1 pound a week, which means a stone by March is definitely more achievable.
Take baby steps
Making huge changes are guaranteed to lead to failure. If you want to start running for example, trying to run a 5k twice a week is NEVER going to happen. Start small and build up gradually. It’s been shown that reaching a goal is likely to make you more positive. Give yourself small steps to reach every couple of weeks and you’re more likely to stay on track.
Once you have smaller goals, ensure you give yourself a pat on the back when you achieve them. Whether it’s a day at a spa or a new lippie, rewarding yourself is really important as it acknowledges the success you’ve had, and will help you stick to your ultimate goal.
Think about what you will gain
Keep in mind what you’ll attain when you reach your goal. If you’ve decided to quit smoking, next time you reach for a cigarette remind yourself of how much better you’re going to feel if you put it back. Your brain will respond much more to a positive mantra like this than a negative feeling.
The 10 minute rule
If you find yourself slipping up, use the 10 minute rule. Instead of reaching for that biscuit/cigarette/drink after a bad day, walk away for 10 minutes. Often distracting yourself for a while is enough to hit those cravings on the head. Equally if your resolution is about doing something – going to the gym or organising your house – try doing it for 10 minutes. Most times, you’ll find that 10 minutes whizzes by and before you know it, you’ve been on the treadmill or cleaning for half an hour.
Get some support
You need to enrol some cheerleaders to help you on your way, who can help give you a boost when you’re thinking of quitting. Recruit a family member or friend you can call when temptation strikes. If you’re on a health quest, such as quitting smoking, then your GP can also be a good source of support.
Use slip-ups as a learning curve
Decided to lose weight this year but can’t resist that slab of home-made chocolate cake that your friend offers you when you pop around for a cuppa? Instead of beating yourself up and giving up the diet, work out why you couldn’t say no. Perhaps you were tired or it was your period ramming up those cravings? Take a step back and see how you can improve moving forward.
Create a plan
Once you know your weak spots – emotional eating anyone? – create some coping mechanisms for these and write them down. Next time you feel like you need some support, you can refer to your strategy and hopefully ensure that you won’t slip up this time.
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