Live Your Dream

10 Ways To Keep Your New Year Resolutions

Richard Wiseman, author of 59 Seconds: Think a Little, Change A Lot, and Professor of Psychology at Hertfordshire University says that that all too often New Year’s resolutions fail because people try to do too much too soon and don’t  seek the right support to help them achieve their goals.

Following his recent research carried out in conjunction with NHS UK Health Campaigners  Change4Life, of  monitoring 2,000 people for 2 weeks as they tried to make a healthy change to their behaviour it was found that  people who rely on willpower alone are much less likely to succeed than those who try other techniques like telling their friends, rewarding themselves for making progress and removing temptation from their surroundings.

New Year’s Resolutions, April (TheGinghamOwl)

He advises we pick just one resolution and focus our energies on it rather than spreading ourselves too thin among a number of different objectives.

As reported in the Sun newspaper (UK), here are Professor Wiseman’s 10 ways to keep your resolutions:

One Thing At A Time
Many of us make the mistake of trying to achieve too much instead of deciding on what is important to us and making just one resolution.
The chance of success is greater when we channel our energy into changing a single aspect of our behaviour at a time.
Plot Your Success
Find a way of charting your achievements. Keep a journal, or cover your fridge or notice board with graphs or pictures.
Try Something New
Repeating resolutions you have failed to keep before is a recipe for disappointment. Set a new goal, or approach an old aim in a new way. For example, instead of trying to lose a set amount of weight, vow to exercise more.

Be Specific
Think about exactly what you are going to do, where and when. Vague plans fail.  For example, instead of saying that you will go running on two days each week, decide you will run on Tuesdays and Thursdays straight after work.

Set S.M.A.R.T Goals
Make sure your goals are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-based (SMART). For example, instead of simply saying you want to find a new job, come up with bite-sized goals for each week, such as rewriting your CV then applying for a job each week.

Map out small steps that will slowly but surely take you to where you want to be, write them down and stick to the plan.

Carrot, Not Stick
Motivate yourself by focusing on the positive, rather than beating yourself up about your failings. Think how much better life will be for you, and those around you, when you achieve your aims.

Go Public
Many of us prefer to keep our New Year’s resolutions to ourselves. Unfortunately, this makes it all too easy to simply forget about them. Instead, go public. Write down your resolution on a large sheet of paper, sign it, and place it somewhere prominent in your home.

Tell your friends, family and workmates and ask them to support you. For example, if you want to lose weight, ask colleagues not to offer you biscuits with your tea.

Be Persistent
New habits take time to learn, and once in a while you will slip up and revert to the old you. Most of us give in to temptation occasionally, whether it is a cream cake or a crafty cigarette.

Get Image Conscious
Visualise yourself doing whatever you need to do to achieve your resolution. Focusing on this image will help you believe in your ability to succeed.

Be Positive
You will get better results from thinking about the good things that will come from your new lifestyle rather than the negative aspects of your old habits .

New Year Resolutions

The start of a new year…a time to let go of what is old and a time to renew ourselves, open upto new experiences and ways of being.

At this time of the year many people make resolutions.  Personally, I prefer not to use the term ‘resolution’ as it reminds me of so many times in the past when I would have a mental list of around 8 or 10 resolutions and was lucky – if by the end of the year I’d managed to achieve even one of them!  Why?  Because, like many people, I made the mistake of relying solely on  my willpower,  as well as  keeping a lot of it in my head and having no real game plan, nor of really examining if the steps I was taking would really help me to achieve what I wanted to achieve or whether they were setting me up for failure!

For instance, I would take out a membership at a gym, attend a few sessions and then give up or let myself become easily distracted by being ‘too tired’ to go, after a hard day at work, or because of a multitude of other reasons…..does this sound familiar to you?

It took me a long time to realise  (and accept) that actually, going to the gym was not really ‘my cup of tea’.  Experience has shown and taught me that I’m more apt to stick with exercising if it is something I actually enjoy and come away from the activity exhilerated and full of energy (i.e an egyptian belly dance or bollywood style dance class) or as in the case of my once weekly pilates class – feeling stretched, graceful and serene.

Now, this was all before I got into reading a lot of self-development books and learning about things like positive affirmations,  the law of attraction, visualisation, journalling, life mapping and so much more.  This was long before I became a life coach and really got to understand the concept of goal setting.

Tomorrow, I want to share with you 10 ways to help you keep your resolutions that I recently came across.