First, don’t be tempted to make several resolutions as this probably won’t be very fruitful. Instead, whittle the many down to just a few (ideally two or even just the one if they are biggies, if they are smaller then you definitely don’t want more than 10!) You also want to make them realistic as aiming to high will be unobtainable and will result in you quitting before you’ve been able to see any difference (i.e. expecting to quit smoking in a month probably isn’t going to happen but by saying by this time next year you’d like to be cigarette free, you have a good chance at succeeding). Also try and make them meaningful and something that will improve your life. For example, if you live away from home, you may choose to call home more or to see you friends with greater regularity. If you want to make a larger resolution then make sure you break it down into smaller chunks, setting targets at intervals that are achievable. Doing this will make the situation a lot more bearable.
Once you have your Resolution, don’t go all out on it. Implement it slowly and build up gradually. For example, if you’ve decided that you eat too many sweets and want to stop eating them, the worst thing you can do is go cold turkey. Start by reducing the quantity you eat in a day, then reduce the number of days that you eat them before finally having days then weeks in between those treats until you finally have changed your diet so you no longer need them. Just stopping all together will mean you are more likely to hanker for them and give in to those cravings thus ending the resolution for another year!
Writing down your resolutions can also help (some people draw up contracts too so they can set out their goals and time scales) as this can connect you thinking and doing selves that will mean you are more likely so succeed in your goal.
Don’t be too hard on yourself! If you don’t manage to fulfil your resolution on one particular day (or week depending on the nature of your resolution) then don’t think about the negatives or that you’ve failed; instead, realise that blips are all part of the course and that no one is perfect! The road is going to be bumpy and you may not get it right all the time but persevere, don’t give up and you’ll get there.
Don’t go it alone! Friends and family may not have the same resolutions as you, or they may not have even made any this year, but if you share what you are changing in your life then they will able to provide support and encouragement to help see you through to your end goal. If you’re doing something more specific, especially if those around you have little or no experience in that particular matter, then try online support groups (such as for losing weight or training for a marathon etc.). These groups will be able to provide support from people who have done or are going the same as yourself, will know exactly what you are going through and will be able to help see you through.
Be positive! Negative thinking and language means you are more likely to fail in what you are trying to accomplish. By being positive you are more likely to succeed. So, instead of thinking that you don’t feel like doing something, focus instead on the good feeling you have once you’ve done it.
Don’t think that miracles will happen overnight. It takes around 21 days for a good habit to replace a bad one and around 2 months for it to become completely part of the routine so by gradually building up you are also increasing the likelihood of sticking to your resolution and meeting your end goal. Survive 2 months and you should have made a change that will last a lifetime!
Making a New Year’s Resolution can be a difficult thing to achieve but hopefully with these hints and tips you’ll be able to ride the tide and make a change that could change your life for the better!
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