A new year is a ripe opportunity to turn a new page and start off on the right foot. It’s the time when resolutions are put into place, gym memberships skyrocket, and the healthy food section is busier than ever before.
Resolutions are a wonderful idea, but it’s not always easy to stick to them for the entire year. In fact, almost 80% of people give up by mid-February. This could be because people try to take on too much at one time, they don’t have the time or motivation to stick to it, or simply because they don’t know how to keep track of New Year’s resolutions.
So, we’re going to take a look at some of the best ideas for keeping your New Year’s resolutions, as well as how to reward yourself with things that you love, like bingo games, treats, and more.
One of the biggest mistakes that people make when setting their resolutions is that they don’t make their goals specific enough. Most people focus on their health for New Year’s resolutions; however, if you just decide on something ambiguous like “get healthier,” it’s going to be very difficult to put a plan in place on exactly what being healthy means to you and how you will achieve it.
Instead, write down your resolution as something like “lose 10 pounds,” “run a 5k race,” or “go to gym four times a week.” Setting a specific, attainable goal makes it easier to see your successes and keep up the good work.
We know it’s tempting to have more than one resolution, such as to quit smoking, to not eat chocolate for a year, and so on. However, when you have more than one New Year’s resolution, it becomes much easier to lose track and get disappointed over the small things.
It’s best to choose one of the resolutions from the list and stick to it. If you achieve your goal sooner than expected, then you can always add something else to focus on for the rest of the year too.
The saying “Fail to prepare, prepare to fail” rings particularly true when it comes to sticking to your resolutions. Choose your resolution and put a detailed plan in place on how you are going to reach your goals.
If you don’t have a plan, then you might give up in the face of obstacles or resistance. For example, if your plan is to run every two days, but you miss a couple of days or you get injured, how will you deal with the setback? By having a plan in place, you consider these scenarios, and you’ll have something lined up, like swimming while you’re injured, etc.
Write down your goal, how you want to achieve that goal, and also list a number of different obstacles that might pop up on the way to achieving it. Being aware of how you want to get there and what you will do in the face of adversity makes you better prepared to stick to your resolution.
There’s no better way to fail at long-term success than trying to do too much too soon. It’s important to keep in mind that this is something you are working towards and that you can’t change a habit overnight.
For example, if eating healthily is one of your strategies to lose weight, then it’s best to do it in a way that is sustainable. Don’t throw every single thing out of your house that you enjoy and replace it with fruits and vegetables. Rather try small steps like having one spoon of sugar in your tea instead of two, replacing potatoes with sweet potatoes, or having a cauliflower crust on your pizza instead of a deep dish, and so on.
If you’ve tried the same resolution and failed at it the last three years running, then it’s time to change it up a bit. If you’ve consistently missed your goal in the past, then it’s likely that you’ll have a mental block against it in the future.
Try to set a new, fresh New Year’s resolution that you can put your mind to, even if it’s similar to what you tried to achieve previously. For example, if you had set yourself the task of a 5k marathon and haven’t managed to do it the last few years, then try to set something like going for a run three days a week. The mental block about the marathon won’t be there anymore, and you might actually find that by running three times a week, you build up the fitness and endurance to take on that marathon after all.
As the saying goes, “Rome wasn’t built in a day,” and you can’t expect your New Year’s resolution to take effect immediately. The habits that you are trying to change probably took many years to develop, and you can’t expect to change them in a matter of days or months. You need to be patient with yourself and understand that this is a process. If you make a mistake or slip up, don’t give up. Rather realign, restart and continue on your journey.
Of course, life is all about balance, and you have to reward yourself in some way in order to stay on track. If you completely deny yourself things that you enjoy, then you are never going to stick to your New Year’s resolution; it’s unsustainable.
For example, if you have committed to healthy eating, then there’s nothing wrong with a cheat day once a week or simply treating yourself to some healthier dark chocolate instead of a rich pudding. If you’ve promised to reduce your screen time, then you should still be able to set an hour or so a day aside to watch your favourite show or to play bingo and slots online. Reward yourself for your hard work, and you’re more likely to succeed in the long run.
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/ 14 February 2022