We all start the new year determined to make it a better year than the one before. Whether that means super-charging our career, learning a language or getting ourselves in shape, announcing a new year’s resolution to family and friends is the time-honoured method of setting our goals and intentions for the year ahead.
Change, however, can be hard. Fast forward to February, and our January resolutions have often fallen by the wayside. But, good news: it doesn’t have to be this way. Read on for our guide to making sure your new year’s resolution becomes a reality.
1) Pick just one
We would all love to gain a new qualification, save for a dream holiday, and become super-healthy in 2018. It’s very, very unlikely to happen all at once though. Instead of making a huge list for yourself, choose the goal that’s most important to you, and focus on that.
2) Get clear on your motivations
Think about the ‘whys’ of your new year’s resolution. For you, is hitting the gym about feeling confident in your clothes? Or is it about getting mentally fit? Why do you want to save money every month? Will it make you feel more secure and excited about your future? Keeping a journal to jot down your hopes and wishes for the year ahead is a useful starting point, and knowing why you’re working on your ambitions is a great way to stay motivated.
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3) Start small
Rome was not built in a day. Nor are degrees, successful businesses, dream homes, muscles, a better attitude to dating… you get the gist. Break down your goal into manageable, bite-sized chunks, else you’ll risk abandoning it due to overwhelm. For example, commit to learning three French words a day, not mastering the entire French language in a year.
4) Embrace the journey
Pulling ourselves out of our old, less-than-healthy habits is hard, and we all invariably fall down along the way. Success lies in not beating yourself up about the occasional hiccup and lazy day, but getting back in the saddle.
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5) Visualise success
Resolutions can sound intimidating and boring, especially in January. Rather than over-thinking the work required, spend time each day imagining the results of sticking to your aims (this is a staple sports psychology technique). That way you’ll stay motivated and excited.
6) Reward your progress
Remember: Success happens in increments. Whatever your goals are, as you notice positive changes to your old ways of doing things, make sure you reward yourself for it.
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