I am a marketing and communications consultant and freelance writer. Living on the Gold Coast in Australia. Check out my website www.sarahsays.com.au or follow on Twitter @WENGoldCoast
Published December 28th 2013
You can do it
It's that time of year where we have the best intentions to make a new year resolution and stick to it, proclaiming this year will be different. Often as Christmas and New Year are a time of indulgence of food, spending, partying and alcohol - usually we make a resolution to do less of one of those or even all four. But do they last?
I have made many new year's resolutions in the past with very few lasting till mid January - some did stick and I believe it was because I approached it differently. Picking just one or two to focus on, rather than a whole life change.
Here are my top tips for making new year's resolutions stick.
1/ Realistic - this is pretty important as setting a major goal that is pretty unlikely and unachievable just sets you off on a course for failure before you have even started. Rather than I'll lose 20 kilos in 4 weeks, try 2 kilos per week, or instead of I'll give up alcohol for the whole of January, try I'll not drink in the week or I'll have two weeks off. That way it's still a challenge but it's more realistic. The main reason people quit is when they don't see immediate results or when it seems to hard, which makes it more difficult to sustain, therefore the more achievable the target the more likely you are to stick with it.
2/ Persevere - we have all done it, give up after a lapse or loss of will power. Perhaps it's an eating healthy resolution, and we have a slice of cake or chips and we think - what's the point in carrying on, I've ruined it now - but actually it's not ruined and it can be rectified. The trick is to not give ourselves such a hard time, if it was just a momentary lapse, then just accept it and move on. The next day you can be even healthier by going to the gym for longer or eating super healthy, this will get you back on track and restore faith in yourself.
3/ Measure - knowing you are succeeding and achieving your goal is one of the main reasons we stick to something. If you cannot measure success then you won't feel a sense of achievement and pride when you complete the task you have set. So when setting a resolution make sure it's something that can be easily monitored - sweeping statements such as -I'll be happier - are difficult to measure, so make sure you add in a timeframe of weeks or months, and set goals that can be monitored such as I'll make contact with 4 friends I've lost touch with. You will get a great sense of achievement when you can cross them off you list, which will lead to greater success and increased will power.
4/ Support - put your resolution out there, in this digital age we are all used to sharing what we are doing via social media, and what better way to add a little pressure to your resolution than by telling everyone that you are doing it. Getting support and encouragement, and even some teasing if you are used to throwing in the towel, will make you more determined to see it through and stick with it. I know in the past when I've made a resolution and mates have teased that I won't see it through, it's spurred me on to prove them wrong. You could also try a website such as www.stickk.com which allows you to set your resolution, what you will stake on it, how long it will last and it's also public too - it gives you encouragement and tracks progress. Another site is www.hassleme.co.uk, this one sends you reminders that you have set, such as - go to the gym - and the beauty is that you don't know when they will come through. A great way of getting some additional encouragement, or being slightly shamed into persevering.
Do what works for you, and whatever your resolution for this year, good luck and don't give up!