Every year after I’ve eaten too much chocolate and heard too much Christmas music, I start to think about the year ahead. I like reflecting on the previous year and what has been good, bad, happy, sad, normal, mad – you get the idea. But it helps me to think about what I could do differently in the coming year. So I make New Year’s Resolutions. But the problem is, I’m very good at making them, but not awfully good at sticking to them. After having failed so many times to keep mine past January 3rd, I’m starting to see why! So here are my top four tips for keeping your New Year’s Resolutions.
1) Be realistic
One year my New Year’s resolution was to read a book a week. Well you can imagine how that worked out! Unrealistic expectations can often make us feel like we’ve failed, but really we’ve just set the bar too high. Sure - dream big, but take it little by little to get there.
2) Make it something you really want
When I’m making a decision and I feel like I should do something my Dad always says ‘there’s no should about it’. Don't make a resolution that you should want or what other people tell you to want. It has to be from you. Otherwise you won’t be motivated to do anything about it.
3) Talk about it
Tell a friend, share it on Facebook, blog about it. Don’t keep your resolution a secret. It will encourage you, but it will also encourage others. I went running in a park once and got chatting to another runner there. He asked me how many laps I was going to run and I said 10 because that was my aim. But by lap 5 I was exhausted and thought I couldn’t continue! But I did. And I am convinced I kept going until the 10th lap just because I had told a stranger I would!
4) Don’t be too hard on yourself
There will always be days when you forget or you’re too busy or you just can’t be bothered. Don’t worry about it. It happens to everyone! One of the reasons I have quit before by January 3rd is because I have been frustrated. I’ve been frustrated because I forgot to not eat chocolate or to go for a run, so I just gave up. But if I had not been so hard on myself, I might have kept going a little longer. So don’t be too hard on yourself. I think even if next year we do just a little more exercise, eat a little bit healthier or spend a little more time with family, we are taking small but significant steps towards being better people!
Have you made any New Year's Resolutions?