It can be overwhelming when your New Year’s resolutions become as long as your holiday shopping list.
In addition to the post-holiday slump, not being able to stick to your resolutions by February, March or even late January can send your anxiety into overdrive. As the holiday decorations are packed away, the gym membership goes unused and you’ve re-started the 9-5 grind, the later winter months can feel hopeless.
For that reason, we have five ways to make your reinvigorating resolutions feel like a walk in the park –
Let’s not go crazy and write a list as long as your arm with everything you want to change in your life. Having a list that long makes achieving every task seem unrealistic and therefore demotivating. The best idea is to start small, take a look at something you really want to change and see how a small alteration in your life can achieve this. For example, if you want to spend more time with family and friends, dedicate a day a month to begin with where you plan an activity together and build from there.
Talk about it
By telling a friend or loved one about your resolution, it means you have someone there to not only support you but keep you focused on the job ahead. If you start wavering, friends and family will be on hand to assist. Another thing to remember, is by telling people it creates a greater connection between your ‘thinking self’ and your ‘doing self’ and makes the resolution appear more real than if you simply think it in your head. Additionally, knowing people are supporting you, gives more incentive to follow through on your goal.
Don’t beat yourself up
If you start to fail, just try, try, try again. So, you’ve eaten a chocolate bar that was forbidden in week two? Put it behind you and start again. Nobody is perfect and by being too forceful and strict, you may start to rebel and be demotivated. Another way to help this is by giving your goal a timeframe, say “only 5 cigarettes a month” and that way, once you’ve achieved the big success in that short-term goal, it encourages you to continue.
Review your progress
Break your resolutions down in stages, or months in order to track your progress. Then, a few months down the line, you can see what is working and what is not. For instance, if your resolution was to go to the gym three evenings a week, perhaps you haven’t been sticking to it because you always work late. Therefore, the answer may be to try going in the mornings instead. Ultimately, making a minor adjustment could be the key to success.
Remember to celebrate your successes, as long as they don’t go against your resolution. Say if you wanted to cut down on alcohol, treating yourself to a glass of wine is not the way forward. Instead, treat yourself to those play tickets or film you’ve been wanting to see. The main thing is to keep going, you can do this!