A New Year’s resolution is a tradition in which a person sets out to break a bad habit, adopt more positive traits, achieve a goal or simply improve their life in some manner.
A lot of pressure is heaped on people to get fitter and healthier in January and as a result the most popular recorded new year’s resolutions generally relate to improved physical fitness or weight loss.
There are many benefits to making a new year’s resolution, there are also several reasons why you might end up giving up on them before the month is over.
In fact, did you know that 80% of new year’s resolutions have failed by February? So many people have already given up on their new year’s resolutions by January 12th that this date was officially labelled as “quitters day” in 2018.
A common mistake when making resolutions is creating a list that is too extensive or ambitious.
While there is nothing wrong with aiming high, there is also something to be said for a realistic approach to self-improvement.
If you stick with your resolution then you will likely feel a sense of accomplishment and a boost to your self-esteem, then there will be nothing stopping you from setting new goals for yourself as the year progresses.
So, if you fall into the category of people who have lapsed in their resolution then now is the time to refocus and reassess.
All you need to make positive change is your own determination, it’s never too late to start again so here’s a few tips to help you get back on track:
Focus on yourself – This might seem like obvious advice for someone looking to make change in their own life but it’s more valuable than you might think. For instance, don’t be caught up in how other people are progressing with their own resolutions or in their own lives in general. Their journey and yours have nothing to do with each other and drawing contrasts could end up discouraging you.
Learn to forgive – When we fail or have any kind of slip up in a resolution or ambition, we tend to be very hard on ourselves. This kind of internal criticism ultimately makes us feel shame and that is not a great mind set for motivation. If you had a momentary relapse forgive yourself. You are human and we all make mistakes, don’t let that fact deter you from achieving your goals.
Communicate – A great strategy when setting out on a new task or goal is to inform your family, partner or friends of your plans or intentions. They are your support circle, while it’s not advisable to rely on others for motivation, it can help to know that the people that care for you the most know the journey you’re on.
Reassess – If you failed in your new year’s resolution then it’s important to ask yourself why. Was there a specific reason that you lost sight of your goal? Could you have made your resolution more specific or realistic? If you really feel that the lapse was due to extenuating circumstance, then keep at it. However, if on reflection you feel that you took on a bit too much from the outset then feel free to revise your goal if it increases the odds of your success.
Strategise - Did you put much thought into how you would achieve your goal? If you made the resolution impulsively last time then it might be worth planning it out this time round. For example, if you want to focus on weight loss then why not top up on some helpful supplements? Maybe you would like to get fitter in which case it might be worthwhile signing up for a membership at your local gym.
Keep a diary or journal – When you record your daily routine or habits then you have the chance of gaining valuable insights into your own personal habits. Whether you’re keeping track of what you eat in a day or recording how many times a week you’re working out, there is bound to be some type of pattern worth noting and acting on.
Always remember that no matter what happened yesterday, every single day is a fresh chance and it’s up to you to make each day count.
If you can learn from your mistakes, then you can avoid repeating them in the future and then it will be that bit easier to stick with your ambitions and achieve your goals.