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What’s wrong with New Year resolutions?

Posted on 27/01/2015 by
The best goals take time and perseverance: perfection doesn't happen overnight!

The best goals take time and perseverance: perfection doesn’t happen overnight!

Every January, everyone shares their plans for what they are going to change and how they will succeed in the next year. Often, these best intentions fail, and we beat ourselves up about an inability to do what we said we were going to do so well earlier in the year.

I am fairly cynical about New Year’s resolutions for several reasons, however I think the most important thing is not the goal. I am all for change and trying to improve and modify behaviour and habits, it is just why does it have to be January when we make the decision to form a new habit or try and curb a bad habit?

It’s the same logic as starting a diet on a Monday, it’s the start of a goal and if we fail, we can start again. So just because it’s late January, March or November doesn’t mean you can’t still set yourself a goal or a challenge. If you really want to change something, it’s never too late to do it and plan for it.

Which brings me onto what I want to really address: it’s not that a New Year isn’t a great reason to set yourself some goals, but rather looking at why do some people fail at these so often and are back to their bad habits within 6 weeks!

Goal setting. There I said it, often we decide to lose weight, get a new job, be fitter or give something up. But in reality it’s all talk and no substance, we make the commitment and decision to do it, but we have no real goal in mind. And with no goal, there isn’t really a point and therefore we fail! So here are a few top tips for making those changes happen and how to make them stick!

1. Set a goal
This might seem like an obvious one, but what’s the point of saying you are going to lose weight without having an end goal? All targets need a goal to aim for.

2. Set a timeframe
If you set a target then you need to have some timelines for those to be achieved. This might seem like common sense, but without knowing what you are going to achieve and by when, how can you check what you’ve done?

3. Measure the progress
Some people like to review their goals weekly, monthly, but the process of looking at what you said you were going to and looking at the progress, is what really matters. It can help when you are losing motivation. If you are achieving towards your goal, understand what you did to make that happen and repeat!!

4. Be realistic!
Set a goal that has some way of you actually achieving it, you can’t run a marathon without some training, a plan and a goal, so why would you decide to do something without being realistic. Otherwise you are just setting yourself up for failure.

5. Learn to accept ups and downs
This will happen, it’s how you cope that will keep you on track. If you have slipped, learn to deal with it. Have a plan to get back and on track and focus on forward. Don’t keep looking back giving yourself a hard time about failure, remember failure is the only way we learn! Read anything about great leaders and they will all tell you about their many failures before they were successful.

6. Break big goals down
Just like any goal, one huge goal can seem daunting, so break it down to bit sized chunks. That often helps and also makes your reviewing process so much easier.

7. Reward achievement
If you have worked really hard towards your goal, give yourself a pat on the back. A celebration of what you have achieved will keep you on track and remind yourself of the end goal.

8. Have supporters
We all need help, support and encouragement. Pick people that you admire, who you know have achieved things and more importantly will support your goals and efforts and not pass judgement, criticise and pull you apart!

9. Write your goals down with a pen!
Scientists have proved that the brain retains information better when it’s written down by hand. Don’t ask me why or how, but the process of writing things down does seem to increase our ability to remember and commit to things.

10. Don’t overshare!
Be humble, be grateful and be kind! Nobody wants to hear endlessly about your diet, fitness campaign, savings account, etc etc! Use your supporters to gather support and momentum, share the odd up and down story, it makes everyone feel involved, but endless talking about your goal is a bit one dimensional, and after all you are way more than that!

Good luck, it’s never too late to make any changes to your life, you are in control of it!

If you want something you've never had then you've got to do something you've never done

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