Have you ever heard the phrase ‘new year, new me’? While new year’s resolutions can be a bit hit and miss, there is something cathartic about starting a new year, and making changes in your life at this time. Unfortunately, many people set resolutions that they don’t follow through on and, come February, a lot of new year promises have already fallen by the wayside. If you’re looking for ways to make positive lifestyle changes, and stick to them, read on for our guide on how to make and execute your new year’s resolutions.
Ask Yourself Why
It’s all well and good to set yourself some yearly goals, but have you stopped to ask yourself why? Losing weight, for example, is a common new year’s resolution. But if it’s one of yours, why do you want to lose weight? Is it because you want to be healthier? Look leaner? Have more energy? Once you’ve gotten to the crux of why you have your resolutions in mind, it can be easier to stick to your goals.
Another way to look at this is to make your ‘why’ a part of your resolution. Too often, people give up on their resolutions because they are too broad, or too hard to achieve. Rather than having an ambiguous ‘lose weight’ resolution, or an absolute mountain like ‘lose 40kg this year’, your resolution could be something like ‘improve my health so I have more energy to run around with the kids’. Having your ‘why’ form part of your resolution will serve as a great reminder throughout the year that you actually have a purpose for doing this.
Break your resolutions up into achievable goals
Once you’ve clearly set your resolutions with their purpose in mind, the next step is to break them up into smaller, achievable goals. Think of your resolutions as an overarching objective for the year, and then set quarterly or monthly goals to achieve this. So, if your resolution is to improve your health, you could start the year off with a goal to exercise for 15 minutes a day this month. If you’re focusing on mental health, writing a list of activities such as going for a walk or doing 15 minutes of breathing exercises might be a good idea, and then set yourself a goal of doing three of these a week.
Breaking your resolutions up into smaller goals will make you much more likely to stick to them. It also allows you to be flexible in where you’re at month to month. If you have a particularly energetic month, increase your expectations to get more done during that period. Feeling down a few weeks down the track? Be kind to yourself and set smaller goals for a time. Remember, that it’s about progress, not perfection – resolutions should be about making positive changes in your life, not beating yourself up for being human.
Don’t be afraid to seek support
Doing something alone can be a daunting task, but it’s usually made easier with some company. If you find that you’re struggling with your resolutions, don’t be afraid to seek support in your journey. This could mean asking a friend to exercise with you, having a trusted person help keep you accountable for your goals, or joining an online support group for people doing the same thing.
Remember also, that resolutions are made easier when you form habits. It takes 30 days to form new habits, so setting yourself that initial 30 day goal is really important to ensure your success. Have a look online for lots of 30 day challenges to align with your needs – you’ll find everything from exercise and mindfulness tasks to cleaning checklists, family activities, and financial goal setting. At the end of the day, be kind to yourself and remember that with a little will power, you’re sure to make 2021 the best year yet!
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