How To Make and Keep New Year Resolutions.
While any time is good to make changes to things that are upsetting us or no longer offer a positive contribution to our lives, the approach of the New Year is a time that many people think about and look towards to make these types of changes to their lives. The idea of making changes to our lives at New Year is not a new idea, ancient Babylonians made promises to their gods, repaid debts and returned borrowed objects at this time and the Romans began each New Year by making promises to the god Janus.
We’ve all done it, we think ahead to what the New Year may hold for us and promise to make changes in the areas we are unhappy with. These may be regarding our jobs, health, family life, savings or habits and yet no matter how determine we feel at the time and assure ourselves that we will stick to our resolutions ‘this time’ after a while old habits can creep back in and nothing actually changes for us in the long term. Then we can end up feeling disheartened or like nothing ever changes regardless of how hard we try. It can feel as if we are stuck with these unwanted issues, situations and even relationships forever and that we cannot do anything to change them even when we try. Eventually this can lead to feeling reluctant to even try.
Start Saving Towards Your Dreams
Setting goals and pushing ourselves is important in life as it can help us work towards and achieve positive changes in life, as well as the things we dream of. They can help give us a focus in life and increasing our self-esteem and confidence. The more we believe in ourselves and what we wish to achieve the more likely we are to do so.
It is important to be careful and be fair on yourself when making any New Year’s resolutions. Setting yourself a goal that is beyond what you are capable of will only set you up for failure and increase bad feelings toward yourself and life. All resolutions that you make should be achievable, for example it would be unrealistic to say you are going to save £200 a month if the only disposable income you have is £200 a month. The chances that you won’t want to or need to spend some of that is very unlikely and means you are greatly limiting your opportunities to get out and enjoy life. This could lead to resentment towards your resolution and then to feelings of failure when you do not stick. Instead make a resolution to save £50 or even £100 of that disposable income each month as that is much more achievable.
If you do make small mistakes or don’t exactly stick to your original plan try not to feel too bad about it. Think positive and be happy about what you did achieve rather than focusing on the negative that it wasn’t perfect. Be adaptable and accept that a plan you made in January may not be as viable or realistic in July. It is better to change your goal or method or reaching that goal than to give up on it all together. Start slowly, over time your changes will become habit and the norm rather than needing special attention. At this point they become easier to achieve as it is just your natural way of being.
Spend More Time Having Fun With Your Family
Common Choices For New Year Resolutions
Some common new year resolutions people make include:
Writing a journal every day/week
Volunteering for a charity
Taking up a new sport or hobby
Taking regular exercise
Taking more time to help others
Spending more time with family and friends
Setting aside time for themselves and to do activities they enjoy
Make new friends
Go back to college
Look for a new job
Stop smoking or drinking alcohol
Learning to drive
Learning to play a musical instrument
Learning a new language
Save some money each month to treat yourself
Start saving for the holiday you have always dreamed of
Making new friends
Finding a new partner
Trying a foreign food
Visiting another country
Watch less Tv
Become more organised
Get out of debt
Stop relying on credit cards
Go On A Trip Of A Lifetime
Hints and Tips for Making and Achieving Your News Year’s Resolutions
1. Set specific and clear goals, so rather than saying ‘I want to lose weight’ actually decide how much weight you plan to lose. If you want to eat better, be specific about what that means, i.e. ‘I will eat 5 portions of fruit and veg every day’ or ‘I will eat breakfast everyday instead of rushing out the door with coffee’
2. Write your goals and resolutions down and keep them where you can see them. This will help you stay motivated. If your resolution involves several steps you could write those down and tick them off or add them as you achieve them. If your resolution was to too lose weight, for example you could write down each pound/kilo you lose and when so you can see your goal slowly getting closer.
3. Visuals can be really helpful and motivating. An example of this would be, keeping a chart following your weigh loss on the fridge to remind you why you don’t want to snack through boredom. Or use positive quotes and messages to keep your spirits and positive thinking up when you are finding sticking to your resolutions hard.
4. Take time to plan your resolutions rather than just making them on the day. This way you are less likely to make a decision in the heat of the moment and chose something that is not total realistic.
5. Make a joint resolution with a like-minded friend/s so you can support each other. Perhaps you could join a slimming club, go running or join an evening class together.
6. Write and talk about your resolutions using positive language as this will help keep you feeling positive and motivated. Instead of saying ‘I hate my job so will try to find another’ say ‘I deserve to feel happy and fore filled in my choice of work’. Say ‘when I achieve …..’ rather than ‘if I achieve ……’. Positive thought create positive things.
7. Record your progress in a diary or similar. Write down positives and negatives and adapt to keep your goal on track.
8. It is better to have one or a few resolutions and be able to stick to them than to write a long list and then find it too hard to make or balance so many changes at once.
9. Reward yourself for sticking to and getting closer to your goal, just don’t break your resolution in doing so or feel that it will be ok to be more lax with yourself. This kind of thinking increases the chances of old habits creeping back in.
Make Your Dreams Come True
How Good Are You at Sticking With Your New Years Resolutions?
© 2012 Claire