New Year's Resolutions that work!
Merry Christmas from Real Clear!
We hope you have a fantastic and relaxing Christmas break, and if you're thinking of setting some New Year's resolutions, below are our top tips! Happy reading.
Top Tips for New Year’s Resolutions
It’s that time of year where we often make ourselves huge promises that we really intend to stick to. You know what it’s like, you’re nursing the hangover on New Year's Day and watching an old film, and you vow that this year is going to be different. You’ll give up drinking, lose weight, get the promotion, read 100 books and be nicer to the kids.
Unless you have some kind of plan to achieve these, they won’t happen. You’ll start off with good intentions, sticking to the new regime of teetotal, only eating green foods, exercising every day, reading a book in 3 days and embarrassing your kids with all the newfound love. Then you’ll get tired. And hungry. And bored. And the negative thoughts will start to kick in. And you’ll talk yourself out of it all. You’ll end the year having read 2.2 books, gained weight and a drink problem.
Ok, so that’s perhaps a bit exaggerated. But it happens all too often. Try another way instead by reading the tips below.
1) Think Few and Think Small. One or two habit changes that you genuinely stick to are better than a huge overhaul that you can’t keep up with. Why? We all have a self-image and we tend to stick to it. If we see ourselves as ‘always a bit overweight’ or ‘the party animal who loves a drink’ we are going to find it hard to stick to 500 calories a day or going teetotal for long. Instead think of a small change that will be manageable even if you’re tired, hungry, feeling low or mega busy. It’s at times like that that the subconscious takes over and we lose will power.
2) Choose a positive change that you want to make. Listen to your feelings. If the change makes you feel sad, anxious, angry, or denied pleasure, then it will be harder to stick to. If this is the case but you really want to make the change, think about how you can turn it into a more positive feeling. Perhaps by reading number 3 below.
3) Think about WHY you want to make the change. If you know why it’s easier to stick to. Have a good long list of ‘Whys’.
4) Have a clear plan of regular action in place. Be self-aware. If you’re not a morning person you’ll only stick to that ‘up at 5 and run 3 miles’ resolution for a day or two.
5) Use a mantra/affirmation to help reinforce the change. Regularly saying ‘I am [your resolution] helps to reinforce it. E.g I am running 3 x per week.
6) Only tell the people who you can trust to support you and encourage you. We all need cheerleaders. Very few of us benefit from being laughed at or told, ‘you’ll never do that!’
7) Write the resolution down and read it often.
8) Ask yourself ‘Do I really want this?’ We take action on the things that really matter to us, otherwise we make excuses. If you don’t, it’s ok not to do it. Be mindful that sometimes we set ourselves goals/resolutions based on what other people/society have decided are what we should want (E.g. being a certain dress size). Picture yourself taking the action you need to achieve the resolution. If it’s something you want to do, enjoy!
9) Record small steps of progress in a diary/journal so you can see how far you’ve come.
10) Imagine the end result of the resolution as often as you can!