How to Make Those New Years Resolutions Stick
By Amber Malik| Nutritionist and Holistic Chef
The time is here for us to pack away the party outfits and start thinking about New Year’s resolutions. A UK poll estimated that approximately a third of all Britons make January resolutions – with health related goals being at the top of the list – but almost half don’t stick to them for even a month, and up to 80% break them in under three months.
Here are 8 tips to help you achieve the success you’re after.
1. Know your why. What is the core reason behind wanting to make your resolution? Why is it important? It’s harder to stick to something if you’re doing it ‘just because’ or for a negative reason rather than a positive one. For example, if you want to lose weight because you criticise and judge your body harshly, dropping those pounds won’t give you the happiness and confidence you crave. But if you want to lose weight to have more energy or feel fitter, you’re more likely to stay motivated. Self-hatred is never a good starting point for any change; make sure you always come from a place of self-love.
2. Know your how. Are you someone who responds better to tough love or to praise and acknowledgement? It’s unrealistic to make a resolution that relies on you magically being motivated in a way that’s never brought out the best in you before. Will making yourself accountable or going public with your resolution help motivate you? Then shout about it from the rooftops! Will giving yourself a reward every fortnight help? Then start planning your treats.
3. Make small, specific goals. Trying several huge life changes in one go isn’t really feasible. Focus on the most important to your long-term wellbeing. The more specific your aims, the more likely you’ll be to achieve consistent success. For instance, rather than saying “I’m going to meditate every day”, aim to take 10 deep breaths each morning for a month, and then add a 5-minute guided meditation most evenings in the second month, and continue building from there.
4. Ditch perfectionism and extremism! A lot of resolutions fail because of an all-or-nothing attitude. One slip-up or one day of not doing your chosen thing isn’t reason enough to think ‘screw it’ and leap headfirst off the wagon. Doing something more times than not doing it means you’re still moving forward overall, and you’ll be able to look back in a year’s time and see tangible progress.
5. Get help. Your chosen resolution may require a certain degree of knowledge that you don’t personally have so seek out information from those that do. Ask a personal trainer for help in the gym, have a nutritional consultation, speak to a life coach or therapist, buy some recipe books, follow people/organisations on social media related to your chosen activity… Or let Vitamin Buddy take away the guesswork in your quest for health with one of its bespoke vitamin plans!
6. Prioritise. If your resolution requires time, schedule it. Put it in your diary so you’re less likely to use the ‘I don’t have time’ excuse. We all have time for what we prioritise. Similarly, prioritise yourself as much as the activity. Don’t toss your goals aside simply because somebody else says, “Oh, go on!” Surround yourself with supportive people and honour yourself enough to not be influenced by those who don’t offer you encouragement.
7. Patience. Real success comes with time, practice and dedication, not quick fixes.
8. Enjoy every bit of success you have and don’t be afraid to give yourself a pat on the back. You deserve to be acknowledged for your effort and you never know who else is watching you and feeling inspired!
Remember, if it doesn’t make you happy, it’s not right. Happy New Year, everyone!