I hope you enjoyed reading about how you can make your New Year’s resolutions STICK!! Here are the next five – and you’ll find them just as common sense as the first five.
Tip 6 – PRACTICE SOMETHING EVERY DAY
Daily practice of activities to support your resolution makes life so much easier.
If you’re trying to get fitter, stronger etc.. then identifying something to do every day in the food department is going to be pretty easy.
But if your aim is something else, such as saving money, you may need to stretch your brain a little. If you want to save money, you could put all your gold coins in a piggy bank at the end of the day.
If you’re looking for love, then you could check your online activity every day, and join some activities like MeetUp, and accept invitations, even if they don’t seem at first to be very appealing. (Regarding online dating/introduction agencies I have to admit a bias here. I met my husband on eHarmony six years ago, we’ve been married for five and a half years and it just gets better.)
You get the idea though, don’t you? A little bit of self-support every day makes your resolution, or goal, come that little bit closer every day.
It helps turn those activities you have to think about, into habits. There is a school of thought that says it only takes 21 days to create a new habit. Unfortunately, that is not the case.
The University College of London research found it takes about 66 days. Rather than sounding scary, this means you can just relax into it.
Remind yourself, do something every day, and you’ll soon see results.
Tip 7 – TRACK YOUR PROGRESS
Taking our ‘be fitter, stronger, more flexible’ example, it’s easy to track your progress.
I’m not a fan of scales – they are not reliable, particularly for women who tend to retain water at certain times of the month. And also, as you start to become fitter, your muscle will weigh more than fat, so you could see your ‘weight’ increasing at the start- which can be quite depressing, and lead you to stop making the changes.
Get a spreadsheet, take your measurements, and you’ll soon start to see a difference in your body shape. Your waist, hips, thighs and tops of your arms are a good start.
Your clothes will also tell you a different story.
There are a number of apps, both iOS and Android to help you track your activities, and give you results from the information you put in them, as well as FitBits and other wearable trackers.
But track and measure. You won’t achieve anything with measuring it. And not only that, it’s cause for celebration when you reach a goal!
Tip 8 – BE KIND TO YOURSELF
The fact is that you will fall down sometimes. But that doesn’t mean giving up. We all drop the ball, it’s just human nature.
Just dust yourself off, and start again. It’s okay. You’re human.
Think of yourself as your best friend, and treat yourself the way you would if your best friend had tripped up. Be kind.
Tip 9 – KEEP AT IT
Even if you’ve just started and fall down on day 2, remember you’ve made the decision, day 1 went okay, so start again.
Here’s a thought that might help you keep on track. Get a big bottle (with a wide neck), and write yourself little positive notes every week. These could be achievements such as how you felt when you finished a circuit at the gym, or your first yoga class, it doesn’t matter what it is, just as long as it’s positive. Pop them in the bottle.
Then, when you feel sticking to your goals is getting tough, you’re not getting anywhere or any one of the millions of little sabotaging thoughts you have invade your brain, just pull out one of your little messages from the bottle. This will help you remind yourself you have already achieved so much just by taking the first steps.
Tip 10 – REWARD YOURSELF
Little and often, think of small rewards to keep yourself motivated. Try not to make it something that will sabotage all your good efforts. For instance, if reducing your alcohol is your aim, celebrating at the pub is probably not the best way to give yourself a reward – it would just confuse your poor brain and then you run the risk of reverting to old behaviour.
If you are trimming down, then maybe you could buy a new item of clothing to celebrate; if you’re busting the booze, maybe a beautiful new teapot would work for you.
It doesn’t really matter what it is, but as you can see from the examples above, it IS important to make it something that helps the activities become habits, and then your resolutions can be achieved.
I’ve just come across a wonderful quote. It’s often helpful to write out quotes that inspire you and stick them around the place – on the fridge, your computer, your wardrobe – wherever you will see them often. You could start with this one!
The beginning is the most important part of the work – Plato
I’d welcome any thoughts you have on New Year’s Resolutions. I’d really like to hear about how you stick to it, or overcome lapses. You never know, what you share could be just what someone else needs to hear to stay on track!
Until next week,