How to Create New Year’s Resolutions that Stick

With the New Year upon us it’s a natural turning point in our lives. Lots of people all over Australia will be making New Year’s resolutions over the next two weeks, and many will be breaking them in the next month!

How about this year, we make positive changes that don’t disappear with the holiday spirit?

We’ve put together a list of ways that you can ensure that your New Year’s resolutions stay with you and create change for the better in your life.

Be realistic

It’s easy to get over-enthusiastic about resolutions and decide to change everything all at once so that your life instantly becomes near-perfect (cue the halo and wings). But unfortunately, lasting change isn’t as easy as that burst of enthusiasm and optimism would have you think. You’re far better off making small positive changes that last than large changes that only survive a couple of weeks.

Work out what your dreams are

The best goals in life are those that move you forward in your quest to fulfil your dreams in life. If you’re not sure what you want out of life, then you’ll have difficulty making lasting improvements because you’ll be like a person driving aimlessly without a map and no idea where they want to go – they can make all the improvements to the car that they like, but until they work out where they’re going and how to get there, they won’t arrive at their destination any faster. Sit down and visualise your ideal life – one that fulfils you on every level. Once you have a strong picture of how it will look, you have your dream. Your next step is to figure out what small steps you can make in the next year to move towards living that dream.

Move towards fulfilling your dreams

Sit down and make a list of small changes that you can make to your life that will help you to move towards your dreams. Some examples are:

For the month of January and February I’m going to achieve four small meals a day with protein, good carbs and some omega three.

I’m going to go booze free in February.

Note that these examples have three things in common:

  • They involve a change in behaviour, not appearance.
  • They’re specified in positive terms.
  • They include a time frame in the near future.

Many people make the mistake of couching their resolutions in negative terms (“I’m going to stop eating so much chocolate”), not targeting a specific positive habit (“I’m going to lose twenty kilos,” – but how?), or of being too vague with timing so that they don’t have a specific goal to aim towards – and celebrate achieving.

Give yourself room for achievement

Your goals should be concrete enough to give you an opportunity to celebrate when you meet them, and they should be near enough that you can get that sense of achievement soon – without making up silly goals based solely on their achievability.

Want some inspiration?

Metabolic Precision have a great article about a regular person making big life changes – read about Mark’s realisation and his goals in Drive the Ambulance or Ride in the Back?

Need some support?

If you like the sound of putting yourself in a challenging environment that will push you to improve your health goals, then you might like to join up for our February Challenge.

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How to Create New Year’s Resolutions that Stick

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