Many people start the new year with at least one thing: a new years resolution. Some have lofty goals to challenge themselves and accomplish more, whereas others are merely trying to enhance the life they already have. One thing is for sure: sticking to a new years resolution is difficult!
You might read many strategies on how to make new years resolutions stick, but the items I’ve listed below are tried and true techniques that have made a huge impact on my life. If you want to make sure your 10kg weight loss, preparation for a marathon run or daily yoga practice last longer than the first few days of the new year, then make sure to read the strategies and follow the steps below.
But before I list my new years resolution strategies, understand that what works for one person may not work for another. For example if your goal is to exercise 4 times a week, but you’re not a morning person, don’t set unrealistic goals by aiming for a run before work. Do it at a time that suits you, such as lunch time, or after work. Similarly, make sure the goals you are set actually goals you want to achieve: read on here about why you set the goals that you do.
1. WRITE it Down
Thinking of losing weight, exercising more, quitting weekly alcohol binges is one thing, but putting pen to paper, and writing them down, is another. Writing your resolution to get it out of your mind and onto paper solidifies your idea.
2. Be SPECIFIC
Being specific makes the goal clear to yourself, gives you a sense of hopefulness and gives you clarity to move forward.
For example, instead of saying “I want to make healthier food choices”, write something more like “I will pack 5 salads to take to work with me during the week, instead of buying a take away lunch”.
3. Make a CHECKLIST
If you have a daily goal, put it on the fridge and when you have completed it, put a tick next to the task. You’ll feel a great sense of achievement tick tick ticking away all your goals!
- Morning yoga ✓
- Make a green smoothie in the morning✓
4. SCHEDULE strategy
If you have weekly or monthly goals, write them on the calendar, put an alert on you phone, or use reminders – make use of all the technology we have! Or, if you’re old school, write it on the calendar you have hanging on the back of the toilet door. Scheduling a date for you to complete or work towards your goal makes it more tangible than thinking that you’ll start your resolution ‘later’.
5. Use a CLEAN SLATE to make an opportunity
Starting something new, and making a habit of it, can often be easier to do with a change in your life. For example, starting a new job this year? Start your lunch time run at the same time you start you new job, take your lunch to work, or quit smoking. Moving house? Organise those cupboards, sort out your storage, and stop your hoarding.
6. Get a BUDDY
Make yourself accountable to someone else. This is powerful, as you will find it harder to let someone else down. Eg. Want to increase your exercise sessions? Get a friend to come with you (preferably one who is equally or more motivated than you!)
Have fun with New Year’s Resolutions! Once you achieve them, you feel a great sense of self pride. Don’t make them a punishment for yourself, but rather a goal that be achieved by hard work and fun.
Happy New Year!