Art is often considered intrinsic to human expression. It is a vessel for emotion and…
For some of us New Year’s Resolutions are a time for starting afresh and embarking on a few goals we would like to achieve over the next 12 months. But there can be a little bit of frustration if we can’t seem to stick to what we had planned (eating better, exercising everyday etc).
For others, New Year’s Resolutions are a non-event, with the ticking over to a new calendar year ‘just another day’.
And you know what? Both viewpoints are valid! However, what if there was a way to find some middle ground – signing up for a few New Year’s Resolutions that will actually motivate you, and not make you feel guilty for ‘falling off the wagon’?
Yes! It’s possible. Here’s a few ideas to help you see in the New Year with excitement for what lies ahead.
Follow your passions
New Year’s resolutions should be about making your life more enjoyable and fulfilling, so make sure that whatever you choose to focus your efforts on is something that brings you joy.
Try a new hobby, embark on a course of study, join a club or even start one! Volunteer for a cause close to your heart, or focus on improving your health and wellbeing. There’s plenty of ways to ensure that your New Year’s resolutions are a positive change for your life.
Write it down somewhere visible
By writing down your resolutions, you’re far more likely to stick to them. It’s also a good idea to note down the things you need to do in order to reach them – especially if they require incremental steps (like working your way towards a half marathon).
Having it visible will help to keep you accountable for your actions, and motivate you to keep on trying!
Reward yourself for good behaviour, but don’t punish yourself for ‘failures’
You definitely don’t need to ‘give up’ just because one day you have a setback. Punishing yourself for a failure or two (or three, or four) isn’t necessary and will only see you hanging up the towel long before you need to.
Instead, realise that bumps in the road will happen, and you can start fresh the next day. You don’t have to wait for the 1st of January to come back around again!
And when you do something you’re proud of, reward yourself! It is great motivation to know there is a ‘treat’ waiting in the wings.
No need to go overboard – three things will do!
A list of New Year’s resolutions could be a bit overwhelming, and may stretch your time a bit thin. So just focus on a maximum of three things you’d like to implement in your day-to-day life, as that will allow you to really concentrate on making them happen.
Replace or minimise ‘unhealthy habits’
Telling ourselves that at the start of the year that everything ‘bad for us’ is off the menu is not going to be easy to achieve. So don’t set yourself up for imminent failure by going for the all or nothing approach. Look to simply minimise your intake at the start, or replace it with something else that is healthier (but that you still enjoy), because totally removing your evening treat is just going to have you craving it even more.
And the same goes for reducing your alcohol intake.
Understand the reasons why you may not change
This might be a strange one, but it’s about asking yourself what you enjoy about the ‘bad habit’ that you’re wanting to change. Switching your thought process around allows you to weigh up the pros and cons of why you could just stick to the status quo – and the reasons for change. By being honest with yourself about why you’re going to embark on a New Year’s resolution, you are more likely to get there because you have built up a picture of what life could be like if you don’t.
Reflect on the past to look to the future
For those who find New Year’s resolutions a little ‘cliche’, maybe you could consider looking back on the year gone by to see what things you were particularly proud of – and make a point of giving them more attention in the year ahead.
So instead of thinking of brand new ambitions that may feel like a bit of a burden, you could just concentrate your efforts on areas of your life that you want to amplify and take to the next level.
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