Did you make a New Year’s resolution yesterday? A lot of us will do so, maybe to stop smoking, drink less or lose weight but it seems that only one in 10 of us will achieve our goal. Here are a few tips to make sure that this year you succeed with your resolution:
- Don’t wait until New Year’s Eve to think about your resolution – take some time a few days beforehand to reflect about what you’re really hoping to achieve.
- Make only one resolution – your chances of success are greater when you channel your energy into changing just one aspect of your behaviour.
- By breaking down your resolutions into smaller goals, you’re more likely to succeed.
- Tell your family and friends what you’re hoping to do – they may well support you when you feel like giving up.
- Keep reminding yourself about the benefits of achieving your goal. This will help you to keep going. Write down these benefits to look at when you’re tempted to go back to your old ways.
- Whatever resolution you’ve chosen, try to accept that you may need help and support with it. If you want to stop smoking, visit your GP Surgery for help and guidance from a Stop Smoking Clinic, nicotine patches, lozenges or you could try hypnosis. If you want to lose weight, join a slimming club (you can do this on-line as well as attending classes). There is usually some support available whatever your resolution happens to be.
- Don’t focus on the downside of what you’re doing. For instance, if you’re hoping to lose weight try not to think about the foods you can’t eat but focus instead on how, in six weeks’ time, you’ll be able to buy clothes that are a size smaller.
- Expect to revert back to your old habits sometimes but treat it as a temporary setback rather than a reason to give up altogether.
- If you feel that your success might be hampered by low self-esteem or lack of assertiveness, consider counselling to help you overcome this.
Good luck with your resolutions and don’t be too hard on yourself if you don’t manage to make all the changes that you wanted to straight away. Pick yourself up and start trying again the next day, remembering that change is difficult and that you’re doing your best!