A New Year
There is a wonderful feeling shared by most at the start of a new year; a feeling that anything is possible. You have 365 days ahead full of opportunity and promise. A clean slate and a blank canvas ready for you to paint your dreams on. According to studies, New Years resolutions are ten times more likely to succeed than lifestyle changes made at any other time in the year. The reason for this is mostly cultural. At the end of the year, we get together with family and friends and break from routine to celebrate and enjoy ourselves. This break gives us the space to stop, re-evaluate, think and be mindful of our lives. We pause and reflect on what’s important. This makes it the perfect time to set goals for the year ahead.
If you’re about to dive into some resolutions, we’ve done a bit of research to help you make the most of them. Here are four simple pointers for achieving your resolutions in 2018.
1. Start Small
Go big or go home rarely works for anyone. This is because its very difficult to build new habits from big changes. The bigger the change, the longer it takes to turn into a habit. Small changes can take as little as 21 days to set. Once your small change has become a daily habit, take on something bigger.
2. One at a time
Although you may feel like you need a complete lifestyle overhaul, remember that you have 12 months in 2018 to achieve the change. Splitting your will power over too much change will make it much harder to do and decreases your chance of sticking to it. If losing weight is your big goal for 2018, maybe start with eating healthy. Once that’s in the bag, take on daily exercise.
3. Keep a journal
Studies have show that the more you monitor your performance, the more likely you are to achieve your goals. Keeping a daily journal of your resolutions helps celebrate the successes and acknowledge the failures, motivating you to keep your performance positive.
4. Reward yourself
Humans respond well to incentives. The business world has used them to increase employee performance for years, and they work. Treat yourself at important milestones, like reaching a month. Take yourself out shopping, buy your favourite magazine or a book. Spoil yourself - you’ve earned it! Small rewards can be just the encouragement you need to get through your hardest days. However, be careful your reward doesn’t derail your resolution. Choose rewards other than the things you’re trying to stop.
Nothing makes us more human than the ability to learn and change. Unlike animals, we are not genetically compelled to act the same way day in and day out. We can choose who we want to be and how to live our lives, and unlike old dogs, we can certainly learn new tricks. Goodluck to all of you on the year ahead. May it be filled with victories and rewards as you make your way to a healthier, happier lifestyle.