The countdown begins, the clock strikes midnight, fireworks are launched into the sky and as you watch the explosions of colour paint the night, you tell yourself all the things you’re finally going to do this year… One month later and everything you were so adamant to do falls like the first snowflake of winter and melts away. Your resolutions become nothing but good intentions.
Whether it’s from a lack of motivation or a simple loss of interest, millions of new years resolutions are put on the back burner year after year. However, it doesn’t have to be like this and there are some great ways to break the cycle. If you doubt the possibility of such a measure, then I’m here to sit in front of you
(behind my macbook screen) and tell you that I am living proof you can succeed in your resolutions each year. For the past three years, I’ve kept to all of my resolutions and seen them through to the happy end. From vowing that I will learn to love myself to changing my terribly unhealthy habits and loosing almost forty pounds, sticking at your resolutions is no easy game or quick fix. It takes hard work and perseverance- I’m sure you’ve heard it all before. Despite this, there are also some steps that you could be skipping every time.
Here are my seven secrets to finding success with your new years resolutions.
Break it up
Simply stating that this year you’re going to ‘get in shape’ is great, but now what?
Jumping in headfirst might seem like a good idea, but in reality you’re just going in blind and setting yourself up for failure. You need to make sure you have a plan of action.
Break up your end goal into smaller, weekly ones. This will feel less overwhelming and keeps the motivation flowing. You could do this by writing out steps on a calendar or go a little wild and make up a spreadsheet. Remember not to feel discouraged if you don’t achieve these little goals you set yourself; use your set backs to fire you up and not blow out the flame.
Ask yourself why and not why not
Ensuring your mind is looking at the positives not the negatives, is greatly beneficial to your success. If you remind yourself of all the reasons why you shouldn’t continue or make up excuses, then of course you’re going to give up. Thus, it’s important to remind yourself why you wanted to carry out this resolution and make a list of these reasons. This ensures you always have a strong reference point to read over in moments of weakness.
It is also a good idea to choose a resolution that has significant meaning to you and your life. If you plan to loose weight because your doctor says you need to but you, yourself haven’t made that same connection, then you’re highly likely not to see it through. Your resolutions have to come from you and no one else.
Write it down, everyday.
Simply making a mental statement, telling your friends or posting it on social media at the beginning of the year is likely not enough to keep your goals fresh and in front of you.
Continuously reminding yourself of your aspirations is important for success as it allows you to stay focused. If you are constantly reminded of your resolutions each morning you are more likely to achieve them- as this is when your brain is most receptive and motivated towards conquering your goals. It could be as simple as buying a journal and writing your goals down again and again or having an inspiring quote, you stick on your bedroom wall, that you will see as soon as you wake up. I had a friend that made the wallpaper on her lock screen her constant reminder and vowed it was the sole reason she remained motivated and focused.
Choose one not many
One of the worst things you can do is make a long list of hundreds of things you want to achieve this year. Sure, it’s great to reach for the top of the mountain instead of the middle but you have to analyse your steps to make sure you don’t fall when you start climbing.
Your chances of success are greater when you channel energy into changing just one aspect of your behaviour, instead of many. You don’t want to overwhelm yourself and it is much better to have one big goal that will cause great self-development than many that you can’t possibly conquer all in 12 months. Reach for the stars but make sure you’re being realistic and have a ladder to take you up into the night sky.
Make failure difficult
One of the best ways to help you succeed in your resolutions is ensuring that failure is very difficult. In fact, you need to make it so difficult that it is more energy to quit than it is to keep going.
You want to grow your business? place a lot of money on the line and take a big risk. You want to do more exercise? adopt a dog that you know you have to take on walks every day. It’s all about taking it that one additional step further and making that extra commitment.
Don’t wait until new years eve
Ironically, making the decision on new years eve or even new years day is known to be avoided, according to psychologists. This is mainly due to the ‘January Blues’ so many of us suffer from. Recovering from the holidays and going back to work can take it’s toll on some and suddenly adding this big annual goal is likely to just add weight on your shoulders. It is much more effective to start your resolutions on February first or the week beforehand when the whole ‘new year, new me’ has died down from society. Choosing to start your goals on January first often adds pressure on a subconscious level. There is usually a thought that motivation will just magically appear in front of us on this particular day and whilst it sometimes does, it usually wavers within a week.
Disregard all thoughts about what day it is or when you think you should make your resolutions and take some time to actually think your goals through. I personally have found that the beginning of December is the perfect time for me to start thinking about my goals and begin carrying them out two weeks before Christmas day. It’s a generally an uplifting time and most people are smiling and happy which I use as positive energy to harness into myself. There is no pressure to conquer anything as I think to myself, ‘it’s the end of the year, I’ve met my goals for this year already, this is just a new one that I can carry into January if I want to but if not it’s no big deal.’ Each year, I’ve always carried that goal into January and crossed it off come the following December.
Reflection is very important for self-growth and particularly when it comes to reaching your goals. Motivation wavers and it’s natural to have those days when you feel like you’re not making any progress and questioning the point of continuing your journey. These are the moments when you need to take some time out and reflect on how far you’ve come. If you’re on a weight loss journey, taking photos of your progress is a great way to keep you motivated and if your resolution is more mentality based, journaling your progress so that you may read back at later stages is recommended.
If you wouldn’t get half way through your road trip and suddenly decide to drive all the way back home because it looked like it was going to rain then you shouldn’t do the same with your resolutions and allow all that hard work go to waste. You’ve got this, just be patient and believe in yourself.
The time of the year is approaching where new years resolutions created out of sheer hope and good intentions are diminished. Those who are successful at keeping to their goals are the ones that understand resolutions are not a one-time change. There isn’t one straight path forward and big changes take time and patience. It’s not going to happen over night and why would you want it to? Reaching a goal, you’ve been working hard for over a long time will always be far more rewarding and uplifting than if you’re just handed to it on a silver platter.
Jacket: Red faux leather jacket (Similar)
Booties: Red ankle boots
What are your resolutions this year?