New Year’s resolutions can be both troublesome and rewarding. Many people make them, but few make a real commitment to them. Make sure you spend some time pondering exactly what you hope to achieve in the year ahead and how you plan to do it. Here are some top tips to help you along the way.
1. Be very specific about your resolution. Don’t say, “I want to lose weight.” Do say, “I want to lose 2 kilograms a month so that I look great in my new togs when we go on holiday.” Make realistic, measurable goals and write them down.
2. Limit the number of resolutions you make. It’s better to do one thing well than several things poorly (or not at all).
3. Post your list in a visible place to serve as a reminder and encouragement to yourself. It will also allow other people to see your resolutions and provide support. If you want to keep your resolutions private, record them in a diary.
4. Enlist the support of your friends and family. If you’re lucky, they’ll have similar goals and you can work on your resolutions together. Encourage people to be helpful and supportive.
5. Take action immediately. Make important appointments with a doctor, nutritionist or personal trainer. Sign up for a gym membership or buy any equipment you need.
6. Practice new behaviours that encourage success. If you want to lose weight, don’t bring desserts, junk food, lollies or ice cream into the house. Limit your exposure to people who are likely to encourage resolution-breaking. Surround yourself with positive people who are likely to support your goals.
7. Set incremental goals and reward yourself for partial successes. If you’re working towards a long ocean swim for example, reward yourself every time you reach a new distance milestone.
8. Substitute a good habit for the bad one you want to break. If your goal is to eat less junk food, find a healthy food you love. If you want to spend more time with your family, establish a special time during the week when everyone is together.