It's a trend we all seem to get worked up about come the end of one year and entry into the next – making promises to ourselves to wipe out bad habits and replace them with wholesome, healthy new ones. The problem is, these promises can prove empty or just too overwhelming to tackle.
Here are eight essential tips on how you can make resolutions that you can stick with for a positive and motivating start to 2013.
Be specific. Don’t just make a general promise to yourself like “I will lose weight”, rather, focus on how much weight you’d like to lose. Also, avoid making a long list of goals. Sometimes this can be overwhelming and it won’t be long before you abandon them altogether. Choose one major goal at a time and focus on getting it right before you move on to the next.
Strategise. Every goal needs a plan of action. Map yours out with specific action. If it’s more complex than you think you’ll be able to manage, make yourself an appointment with a professional, be it a dietician, doctor or psychologist.
Write it down and stick it up. Putting it all down in writing and leaving it somewhere you will see it everyday will help keep you focused.
Tell your friends and family. Tell those you know will offer support. You may even find a few are working towards similar goals. This is a great way to keep you motivated, interested and feeling accountable.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help. It can be difficult asking for help – especially when your goal is a personal one – but involving those you trust can greatly improve your own resolve to achieve it.
Get out of old routines. If old habits die hard it’s because we like their familiarity. Where possible, get rid of the temptation by making changes to your routine.
Take it step-by-step, day-by-day, hour-by-hour. As the old saying goes, Rome wasn’t built in a day and it’s not likely that you’ll achieve your goal in one foul swoop either. To avoid feeling discouraged, focus on smaller goals that will help lead you to the ultimate one.
Reward yourself. It’s important to celebrate your progress as you work towards that goal. Decide on a healthy way to do this and make sure you never skip celebrating a victory – however big or small.