New year, new me or so the saying goes. We’re a week into the new year and with that the resolutions people set to improve themselves are in the forefront of their minds. The gyms are filled with people all with good intentions but then within a few months the numbers trickle down. People are making a conscious effort to eat healthy but then life will get in the way, and they will find themselves reverting to old eating habits. Then there’s the random resolutions people set; stay in contact with friends and family more, learn how to do a particular skill or finally finish that DIY project, that’s been sitting staring at you for the past year.
Let’s be clear there is nothing bad about setting new year resolutions and for some setting new year resolutions is the motivation they need to make some much needed changes, but for others they are something they make and then break. For some people this is because they are setting the resolutions because everyone else is and they feel pressure, for other people it’s because the resolution is too vague or too big, to realistically achieve.
The most common resolutions in Australia are the following:
- Lose weight
- Eat better
- Exercise more
- Save more money
- Travel more
While everyone sets out with good intentions to achieve these resolutions come the end of February 80% will have failed their resolutions. So how can we set ourselves up to achieve these resolutions?
- Get emotionally attached to the resolution – give yourself a personal reason to complete the resolution. Maybe you want to save money so you can visit friends and family or so that you can buy a reliable car to go on road trips and create memories. By creating a resolution that you have an emotional connection to, it will be easier to keep.
- Break the resolution down – start small and then build up. For example, it’s not doable to go from not running to running 5km every day. Instead work out how to make it work for you. Whether that is walk/running 1km and gradually building up to 5km or trying a program like the couch to 5k or even just running some distance regardless of how far it is every day.
- Focus on making smaller long-term changes rather than one major change – such as instead of doing a diet for a small period of time to help you lose weight quickly, consider incorporating small changes (such as increasing your fruit and veg intake or reducing your snacking) that you can keep for the long-term.
- Do it with friends or family – having people who can help keep you accountable means that you’re more likely to succeed, maybe find a friend who you can go to the gym with 3 times a week and encourage each other even when you’re unmotivated.
- If the resolution isn’t working, switch it up – there’s no rule that says you can’t change a resolution. Maybe the idea of loosing weight is causing you stress, instead change the resolution to get your fitness level up instead. Or maybe you can’t travel more interstate or internationally due to Covid so instead focus on travel within in your state.
- Be kind on yourself – it’s ok to fail or to have setbacks. On average it takes 66 days for a new habit to form but for some people it can be as little as 18 days and for others over 250 days. So, it’s completely fine if you skip a gym session ,or find yourself reaching for the chocolate instead of the carrot sticks as long as you get back on target.
With the start of the new year comes new chances and new ways to see things and setting resolutions is just one of the ways we can do this. See 2022 as the year of taking chances and bettering yourself, no matter what that looks like. If you happen to fail at your resolutions this year remember there is always next year.
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