Love them or hate them, it’s hard to resist the temptation of making a few resolutions each December. We’re constantly bombarded with new ideas for self-improvement, from mindfulness to multi-tasking and everything in between. So we write our lists and start the New Year with the best of intentions to lose weight, save money or practice gratitude every, single, day. But by March we’re exhausted, our original promises have lost their shine and the prospect of keeping this up for the next nine months seems less and less achievable.
This year, try mixing up your resolution-making game with these tips and see if you can stick it out until it’s time to start thinking up the next ones.
Keep things fresh, by setting yourself a completely new challenge for each month. Rather than attempting something new for a full 52 weeks, start with 4. Try to include things you’ve always wanted to try, but have been to scared to start. You’ll only be doing it for 30 days, which makes taking the plunge way less daunting. Go vegan for January, learn three new words of French every day in June or get into the habit of keeping a journal throughout November. By mixing up your efforts each month you’ll remain challenged and excited throughout the year, not just for the first few weeks.
Do more of the same. Resolve to continue doing certain things, not to start or stop habits like going to the gym or smoking. Make a list of the things you know do well, like praising others or staying in touch with your family. By recognizing your strengths you’ll already be in a more positive frame of mind than if you were to list your weaknesses. Then, simply make a commitment to do each of these things a little bit more. Chances are you won’t quit doing the things you’re already doing.
Outsource. Allow a friend or relative to think up a resolution for you. It can be eye-opening and humbling to hear how an outside voice feels you could do with a bit of improvement. That said, choose wisely. Pick someone who loves you and will provide constructive feedback only. Once you’ve heard them out, even if especially if you disagree, there’s no greater motivation or reward than proving someone wrong, which is sure to keep you on track as the months go by.
Break it down, then build it up. Don’t ever just stick to one resolution. In fact, make each resolution no less than twelve steps – one for each month of the year. A few small steps are way easier to tackle than one huge one. So if you really want to get fit and healthy in 2017, try the following:
- In January, set yourself a bedtime and stick to it
- In February, add on drinking a litre of water every day
- In March, make sure you’re also walking 10,000 steps
- In April, try some gym classes you’ve never tried before and pick one to focus on for the rest of the year.
By the end of the year you will be well on your way to a healthy lifestyle, without really noticing any upheaval to your normal routine
These small tweaks to the traditional, tired resolutions could mean the difference between making a lasting change or repeating the same old mistakes. So when January rolls around this year, try mixing it up and get ready to make a change, for good.