At the beginning of the New Year it feels right to make a fresh start, to leave behind the negative stuff that isn’t working and to commit to better habits. New Year’s resolutions give you a positive attitude. Hopefully you can re-invent yourself, as 2016 gets under way.
There’s no reason why this can’t be a New Year, New You. However, if you don’t want all those wonderful New Year’s Resolutions to fall by the wayside, leaving you disillusioned and discontented, check out our guide. A brilliant twelve months awaits you!
Learn how to:
- Pick your New Year’s Resolutions wisely
- Stick to them
- And if you do break them, get back on the wagon
Most of us would like to have a model physique, a top job and maybe a PhD into the bargain, but success starts with realism. Yes, there are some amazing things that you can achieve, but don’t aim for too much, too quickly. When deciding on your New Year’s resolutions, remember the following points:
- Go for what’s important to you, not what would please your family, friends or partner, or what they think you’re capable of
- Choose something that inspires you – don’t choose from ‘should’ or ‘ought’. Successful resolutions come from deep motivation
- It’s tempting to resolve to reinvent your life, but keep it manageable. One, or at the most two big resolutions are enough. You can add a couple of smaller ones as well, if you like, but keep it moderate
- Work out how you are going to keep your resolutions. For instance, your determination to eat healthily is likely to falter in a day or two if you don’t have any good food in the fridge. So get organised and be prepared
- Play to your strengths. Why commit to art classes if you’re much better at writing stories? Why invest in an expensive gym subscription if you’d rather walk the dog? Plan to be a better you rather than a totally different you
- Get help and support. If you truly want to take up running, ask a friend to go with you and fit it into your routine
- Try not to choose something that didn’t work for you before, because it’s unlikely to work again and this will reinforce that feeling of failure. Go about it in a different way. So maybe you want to get slimmer, and you can succeed, but maybe you need hypnotherapy, rather than the same old diet. Or maybe you want to play a musical instrument but you struggled with the guitar – so try a keyboard. Be inventive and think outside the box
STICK TO YOUR RESOLUTIONS
New Year’s Resolutions all too often fail because people think that making a resolution is enough in itself. ‘This time I’m determined, this time I’ll succeed’ you may repeat to yourself, believing your willpower will be enough.
The problem is, willpower is feeble compared with the imagination. Imagination is like a giant with magical powers alongside which willpower is an eight-stone weakling! Willpower can never defeat the imagination head on, because fighting it feeds it.
Do you remember times when you were determined to give up something – maybe cream cakes, chocolate or cigarettes? All the time you’re telling yourself not to indulge, you’re imagining indulging! Your will fights your imagination a thousand times and in the end it caves. ‘Just one won’t hurt’ you may say, and that’s the beginning of the end.
But you can win by getting your imagination on your side. Imagine how good life will be if you keep to your resolution. Flesh out the images and enjoy them. Spend time each day visualising success, and when you’re not doing that, occupy your imagination in other ways by being engrossed in something creative and enjoyable, day dreaming about a holiday, or whatever you like, to keep your imagination busy.
Give yourself little rewards for your successes. Spend a morning on your novel/painting/fitness regime/DIY project? Then phone a friend, arrange an outing, catch up with your favourite soap or just chill, patting yourself on the back for your achievement. Following this, plan the next stage of your resolution.
When keeping your New Year’s Resolutions, you are, of course, dealing with your subconscious, and your subconscious is like a child. Like all children it responds to encouragement, appreciation and rewards. You deserve no less.
BREAKING YOUR NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS ISN’T THE END!
Okay, so you’ve slipped. A whole week has passed since you went to the gym, or you’ve spent the evening bingeing on crisps and blown your diet. Maybe you’ve been too tired or busy to keep to your creative project, or study – or whatever.
But this isn’t the end. Every day can be the start of a New Year, so….
- STOP the negative self-talk. You aren’t rubbish, or weak, or stupid, or any of the other nasty things you’ve been saying to yourself
- Forgive yourself Remember your child-like subconscious? Be kind
- Simply start again. Maybe revise your method, reorganise, readjust. Probably there is a better, more focused approach, so find it
- Failure is part of life. All successful people have failed. Successful people treat failure as an opportunity to learn and become stronger. Take that attitude and be a winner
2016 CAN BE DIFFERENT
In this article we’ve explored choosing your New Year’s Resolutions, keeping them, and coping if you slip up. Remind yourself of this – research shows that people who make New Year’s Resolutions tend to have more success and are more positive and pro-active than those who don’t bother, even when the resolutions themselves don’t stick. So you’re already onto a winner!
PUBLISHED: 31 DECEMBER 2015