The NEW New Year’s resolution
I’m fed up with New Year’s resolutions. The gym’s packed, half my friends are vegan and I’m bored to tears of being asked if I’ve taken anything up. A survey published by YouGov showed only 13% of people kept their resolutions, a dismal figure by any stretch. Simply, resolutions- they just don’t work. So other than pulling the duvet over your head and getting stuck into that Netflix binge what can you do?
Routine is your friend
It’s a great Warren Buffet quote “Chains of habit are too lightly felt until they are too heavy to be broken”- it’s true. For something to stick it has to be routine or well-meaning additions are quickly shod or excused. Add a new habit to an old one if you’re struggling. If you are already going to the gym to run, tag a small section of weights or stretches to get fitter. Want to get more fruit in your diet, try a smoothie with breakfast. I was struggling to squeeze in meditating until I used 5 minutes at the end of my workout to sit and do nothing but reflect. It worked well and I am now well on the way to enlightenment you’ll be pleased to know.
Don’t be so tough on yourself
Negative reinforcement is a big reason we fail at our resolutions, if you fail, understand that you have, then carry on. You’ve had a glass of wine after giving it up, so you failed right? Of course not. Instead of beating yourself up realise how well you did going a week without it and pick up your challenge where you left off. See the overall good benefits of your resolution- the weight you lost at the end of the year is not going to be affected by eating that chocolate on the 3rd of March. Likewise skipping the gym because you had a work thing doesn’t mean your back to square one with your fitness plan. You can be a bit flexible as long as you keep pushing forward.
Variate your challenge
If you are habit phobic like me, the idea of taking up another monotonous challenge can be a drag. Reverse it, find what do you want to achieve and work backwards, if it’s to run 10km instead of 5 find creative ways to get to that goal, one’s that aren’t just running every day. It could be three days of running and two of swimming, or you could change your route daily to keep things a bit more interesting and less of a slog.
Make it simple
Wanting to hit the gym after work? Pack your kit the night before so you remove the excuse of not having time in the morning. We are all too good at finding reasons not to do something, by making it embarrassingly easy you break the option to back out.
Find your motivation
Why are you doing it? Who are you doing it for? And what will be the impact? For example deciding to be less wasteful or recycling more might not change the world overnight but my motivation is to be more conscious of my environmental impact and reduce my consumption which makes a difference to me. If it’s to take a pack lunch into work remember how much money you can save every week. Remembering these things can help to get you through when you hit a bit of a wall.
Be proud of the small steps
I hate mornings, the worst part of my day is peeling off the duvet and leaving a snoring, warm partner to go to work, it really sucks. I also know that once that’s done everything runs pretty smoothly and isn’t that bad. My point is that sometimes the smallest thing can be the most difficult, realise what it is and how something minute can throw you off the track to achieving goals. It’s not super easy, but you’re tough and can beat you own negative thoughts. I have faith in you!