Happy new year! It’s the first day of 2014, which for many people means creating a list of resolutions.
New year’s resolutions can be quite controversial and are often dismissed as a pointless cliche. However, the concept behind them – starting the year rejuvenated and focused with a clean slate – is entirely positive and beneficial if used in the right way.
Here are some of my tips for creating resolutions that stick!
When starting the new year, it’s tempting to simply forget the past and move on with your life! However, the best way to start 2014 on the right foot is by reflecting on last year. I always hated the self-reflection worksheets that teachers used to hand out at school, but the process can allow you to start the year with wisdom and insight.
A few things to think about when reflecting:
– what prevented me from being my best and happiest self?
– what unhealthy habits/behaviours do I have?
– what were my priorities?
After considering the things in 2013 that didn’t fulfil your past resolutions, you are in a position to learn from your mistakes.
2. Forget negativity
New year’s resolutions tend to be wolves dressed as sheep – they appear positive, but subconsciously tell you that you aren’t good enough. This hidden negativity is what makes the typical resolution fail.
Health related resolutions in particular are guilty of making people feel bad about themselves. For example: lose 5 kilos, exercise more, stop eating bad foods etc. If we continuously focus on this type of resolution, we are reinforcing negative self-image. Not to mention making ourselves feel deprived of things that we enjoy!
So how can you prevent this?
Make sure that your resolutions are coming from a place of positivity!
Rather than resolving to exercise more, aim to live an active and energetic life.
Instead of aspiring to stop eating ‘bad’ foods, make the decision to eat nourishing, colourful whole foods.
The wording of your resolutions can make a huge difference!
A goal without a plan is a recipe for disaster. You might have an image of what you want, but if you don’t consider how to get there, you are less likely to succeed. Broad resolutions have their place with simpler aspirations such as spending more time with family. However, goals for significant change will thrive when paired with smaller steps.
For example, resolving to live actively – sounds great! But you won’t stick to it if you don’t consider how to do it. So, small steps toward your goal can be anything as simple as taking the stairs rather than the escalator, or going for a walk with a friend rather than grabbing coffee and cake. Mixing simpler steps with less desirable ones (early morning bootcamp, anyone?) will make your end goal seem a lot more achievable!
Throughout the year, it’s important to revisit your resolutions and track your progress. This will allow you to make a note of all the things that have helped you towards your goal and all the things that haven’t. Some of your priorities may have changed and you might aspire to different things. Maybe you’ve even achieved one of your resolutions faster than you thought you would! Anything can happen, which is why reevaluating at regular intervals will help you to stick to your 2014 resolutions.
5. Reward (don’t punish)
You are a human being and mistakes are a possibility. If you break one of your resolutions, don’t punish yourself! Simply acknowledge what happened, consider and address the reasons behind it, and move on. I promise it isn’t the end of the world! One mistake doesn’t mean you have to give up on your resolution. Think of it as an opportunity to come back stronger and more determined than before!
While ‘punishment’ is a no-no, rewards are an absolute must! You’ve worked hard to achieve something and you deserve the chance to celebrate your success. So do something that makes you happy! This can literally be anything, as long as it doesn’t involve revisiting bad habits as a ‘treat’. And don’t forget to allow yourself to be proud of accomplishing your goal and sticking to your resolution!
Good luck with your resolutions – I hope 2014 brings you happiness!
— Daisy xx