7 Smart Ways to Make your New Years Resolutions Stick
14 January 2016
I can’t believe a new year is already upon us! It seems just yesterday I had started the Caralishious blog. Its been nearly a year since Caralishious was launched and what a journey it has been! I have absolutely loved sharing all my health advice with you and I hope that I continue to inspire all of you to work on your health daily.
I know how many of you are adamant to start the year afresh. I am sure you have a long list of New Year’s resolutions too right? The thing is, life gets so busy so quickly that even with having the best of intentions to work on ourselves and our health goals, these all too often fall by the way side, and no sooner become a thing of the past. Trust me I know all too well about setting resolutions and then never getting to fulfil them. But I want this time to be different for you! I finally found some great ways to really get those New Year’s resolutions in place and working for me, and I hope to help you achieve the same. It doesn’t have to be completely out of reach – even in the busiest of schedules, you can still find room to work on yourself and reach your goals. These 7 tips I am sharing below worked wonders for me and I know they will help you too!
1. Keep Focussed
Often we have sooo many things we want to achieve and so we make lists and lists of resolutions, only to look back and it and think “where on earth do I even start??” They key here is not to get carried away. There is nothing wrong with having a lot of goals that you want to achieve, but trying to work on them all at once is not going to get you very far. So keep your list, but sift through it and see what really matters to you most for this year. You may even find that in revising your list there are some resolutions aren’t even all that important to you – and so do away with those. Find 1-3 key resolutions that you want to work on for this year and stick to those. Staying focussed will set you up for success.
2. Divide and Conquer
Some resolutions are often pretty large – for example wanting to lose weight, or running a 21km marathon. At a glance these things can seem daunting – again it’s a matter of where do you start? So what I like to do with my resolutions is break them up into smaller achievable goals that I can set within specific amounts of time. I can then see if I have achieved them within the allocated timeframe and I can measure how far I have come. By allocating time frames or deadlines, this enables you to get on with it so that you don’t just plod on indefinitely. For example, lets look at losing weight – lets say you want to lose 20kgs this year. If you break that up per month that would mean you would work towards losing 1.6kg per month – which is not a lot at all if you think about it. You will probably find you will lose more than that per month, but by breaking up the goal, it becomes far more doable. Then within that you can break up your nutritional goals, for example – week 1-2 cut out sugar, week 3-4 cut out gluten, week 5-6 increase consumption of leafy greens etc. Sometimes it is also good to break weight loss up into two sub-categories – nutrition and fitness. It is always advisable to focus on getting your eating right first, and once you have gotten the hang of it, you can then focus on your exercise regime.
3. Find a Friend
It is always better to work with someone when setting out to achieve a goal. Not only does that person provide support and encouragement, but they also serve as a form of accountability, which can motivate you to stick to your plan. You don’t necessarily have to have the same goals as the person you choose to work with, as long as you have the same intention, then that’s enough. You can share experiences, tips, pitfalls and successes to help and to motivate one another towards achieving your respective goals. Even though you are doing different things, you can still help one another and learn from each other’s experiences.
4. Make them Visible
Write your resolutions down and pin them up somewhere where you will see them daily. I like to stick mine up on my office wall and also have a copy of them in the front of my work diary. That way I have the constant reminder of my goals. Making your goals visible also helps you identify with them more strongly, and keeps them fresh in your mind so that your attention is where it needs to be in order to achieve them.
As with any goal, your resolutions will be more easily realised through proper planning. Develop a step by step plan, indicting smaller goals and detailing the steps you will need to take to meet each goal. If you need to create a few drafts of this then that’s a good thing because this means you are refining your plan to ensure that you are doing what is absolutely necessary without any added fluff. Breaking down the goal’s components (with numeric benchmarks), and keeping a regular checklist will help solidify the task and keep you on track. Make your resolutions are planned in a way that they are specific, measurable, achievable, results-focused, and time-bound.
6. Make them Manageable
Truth is, our brain just likes comfortable old habits over new, different ones. So try to make your resolutions manageable. The key to sustainable resolutions is to make small changes gradually. So if your goal is to go from never running to finishing a half-marathon, start training gradually. Begin by walking a few kilometres twice a week, and steadily increase the workload to jogging, and then running over several months. And be sure to let your resolutions work for you. If they fit comfortably within your lifestyle and your schedule, you will be far more inclined to achieve them.
7. Stick to your Truth
Sometimes we just go with the flow when it comes to resolutions, without making sure we actually want those things for ourselves. Sure there are generic things that many people want in life, but it is still important to really think about how much you actually want those things for yourself. So before working on your goals, ask yourself: Why did I make this resolution? “How much does this resolution actually mean to me? Will it add significant value to my life? Am I doing this for me, or for someone else? If your answers to these questions elicit a powerful emotional response, then you know these resolutions are important for you, which in turn will help motivate your goals. You may find that some resolutions don’t in fact fit in line with your true wants and needs, in which case they don’t need to be on your list and you can focus on those goals that really mean something for you. Always stick with your truth no matter what it is that you are doing.
I love to hear how your experiences with New Year’s resolutions have been. If you would like to share your tips and goals with me please comment in the space below, or post on my facebook or instagram @caralishious.
Wishing you all a very happy and healthy 2016, and may this be your best year yet!
Come on now…let’s do this!
Yours in Health Always