Happy New Year Every one! I hope your Christmas has been a good one and that you’ve spent plenty of lazy days chilling with family and friends and enjoying the Christmas break. I have absolutely loved the last couple of weeks and have certainly recharged my batteries ready for 2017.
2016 has been a bit of a crazy year and I am really excited to see what 2017 has in store. I’ve got a few big projects to look forward to this year, and I can’t wait to see what else this year will bring. Like many people I like to start the new year off with a few goals and aims ready for the year ahead. A new year to many is a new start and a reason to introduce new and healthier habits into their lives (or eliminate unhealthy ones). I am all for any reason for people to try and look after themselves a bit more or achieve a personal goal, which is why today I wanted to talk about setting new years resolutions and how to make them as effective and sustainable as possible.
Let’s talk about… Resolutions!
It’s so easy to pick a million and one things that you want to change in your life, but let’s be honest when does focusing on a thousand things at once ever get you anywhere? Limit yourself to a couple of key things you would like to focus on (ideally the things that will improve yourself and your life). Make them your priority to make yourself more likely to succeed.
Don’t set resolutions that are completely unachievable or unmaintainable. Doing yoga every morning before work when you already get up at 5 am probably isn’t enjoyable or sustainable. Saying that your going to read a book a week when you barely have enough time currently to read the title then chances are you won’t magically find time to do it now.
Make them Positive
I find one of the biggest enemies of successful resolutions is how you word them. For example instead of saying your going to ‘drink 2 litres of water every day’ why not try ‘drink more water as often as I can’. This means there is less chance for you to fail and give up. Instead of ‘go on a diet to lose weight’ try, ‘make an effort to make healthier food choices’. Focus on why your picking your resolutions instead of what they are limiting you from doing.
Focus on the 21 Day Rule
Have you ever heard that it takes 21 days (3 weeks) to form a habit? Okay so it may not be scientifically accurate and there is a lot of speculation whether this is actually true but sometimes a little bit of the placebo effect is all you need. Some times new years resolutions can be a bit daunting as it feel like a life long commitment (or at least a year long). To start just focus on getting through the first 3 weeks and then start again. 3 weeks seems far more manageable.
Chances are you will fail at some point. If your resolution is to learn a new skill you’ll probably reach a point where a fortnight has passed with out you doing anything and it seems a bit pointless to restart. If your resolution is to lower your sugar intake there may be a day where a giant slice of chocolate cake is just too tempting. This is not a reason to quit!!!! You are human and a setback isn’t something to get stressed over. At the end of the day even if you are doing your resolution more often then you were before then it’s probably having a positive effect on your life.
Write It Down
Go get a pen right now and write down your resolution. As well as this write down why your doing it. Are you doing it for yourself? or for someone you love? How will the resolution change you? Why does the you now need changing? Is it for your health; for you mind, body, wellbeing? Are you doing it because it will effect others around you? Will it effect how you see your self or how other see you? Are you simply doing it for enjoyment?
All these questions are the type of things you should answer. Write them down now while your still passionate about your new resolution. Further down the line when your struggling or neglecting your new resolution refer back to your list and remind your self why this meant so much to you in the first place.
Resolutions are not just for January
Although January 1st seems like an ideal time to start a mew resolution it isn’t mandatory. If you are happy with your life then there’s no need to change something about your life just for the sake of it.
As well there’s also no reason why if you’ve missed the January 1st deadline you can’t still start a new resolution. You can start a better life choice at any time even if the New year has already started.
If your struggling for some inspiration here’s some ideas for your new resolution.
- Get fitter
- Find a sport that I enjoy to keep active (e.g. cycling, running, team sports, yoga)
- Drink more water
- Read more books
- Make healthier food choices (as often as possible)
- Reduce my sugar intake
- Watch less television
- Say yes more often
- Practice a new language
- Travel more
- Try and save more money
- Spend 30 minutes a day without my phone
- Go to bed earlier more often
- Give up smoking
- Drink less alcohol
- Make an effort to be tidier
- Spend more time with the people who matter
- Give more money to charity
- Learn a new skill (e.g cooking, painting, playing guitar)
- Start keeping a journal
- Take more photos
- Make more effort to stick to a beauty routine
- Get in touch with loved ones more often
- Cut down on caffeine
- Track my money
- Have family dinners more often
- See your favourite band or sports team live
- Back up your computer and other files
- Work towards getting a new job or promotion
- Start taking vitamins
- Start meditating
- Get outside more often
I personally have a few goals for 2017, but 2 of my favourite are ‘to spend more time with friends and family’ and ‘to be able to do a headstand in yoga’. The first because life can often get far to busy and often it’s spending time with our favourite people who we know will still be waiting for us when we’re done with the craziness, that gets neglected the most. Even if it’s a 15 minute cup of tea and a catch up on the way home or a 10 minute phone call more often; I want to make my loved one’s more of a priority. The second is my way of maintaining a frequent yoga practice. I always feel so much calmer after yoga and definitely get far fewer injuries in other exercise. Since starting yoga I feel I’ve progressed quite a lot I’m always in complete aww f people who can do headstands – by the end of 2017 I want to be one of them!
So what ever your resolution is (new year or not) I wish you luck, and on the days where it gets tough remember why you started. Don’t be daunted by the task ahead, and remember every expert started as a beginner and you are only human. You can do this!!
Happy Trying (and succeeding)!