New Year’s Resolutions have had a bad rep for the past few years. The message that we’re all ‘perfect as we are’ is a wonderful and uplifting message that we all need reminding of at times! It’s an especially important message because a lot of the New Year’s resolutions messaging comes from the diet industry trying to push new weight loss products to people who don’t need them!
But I’m also a believer that resolutions and goals help us to grow and develop.There’s nothing wrong with wanting to be a little bit better at something and having a specific goal in mind can help you get there.
The feeling of accomplishment when we stick to our resolutions is amazing too! I’m so pleased that I managed to accomplish a lot of the goals on my ‘20 things to do in 2020’. Obviously, there was a lot I couldn’t do due to Covid restrictions but I still ticked off a fair few of them!
I’ve always been the kind of person to set ambitious goals at the start of the year, such as 12 monthly challenges in 2019. Over the years I’ve found different tricks to actually stick to these New Year’s resolutions.
Here are some of the methods I’ve found that help you really keep your New Year’s resolutions…
Tag new habits onto established habits
We all have ingrained routines we stick to everyday, whether that’s brushing your teeth when you wake up or reading a book before bed. The easiest way to form a new habit is to tag it onto something you do already.
Let’s say you want to do 30 minutes of exercise everyday – try tagging it onto part of your routine you already stick to. If you have a shower at 8am every morning, why not do your 30 minutes of exercise before your morning shower every day. It won’t be long before exercise and a shower go hand in hand and you’ll always do them together.
One of my goals was to drink more water (I know, it’s a boring one but I genuinely used to live on tea, coffee and wine). I already drink lots of tea and coffee so I tagged a new habit onto my tea and coffee routine. Now, whenever I’m waiting for the kettle to boil I’ll quickly drink a glass of water. The two things now go hand in hand and it’s become a new habit.
Personally, I find it much easier to form a new habit in the morning or the evening because I have deeply ingrained habits around getting up in the morning and going to bed at night. The middle of my day is often chaotic, unplanned and varies a lot day-to-day, but my mornings and evenings are always very similar so I have more habits I can tag something on to.
Break your resolutions down into achievable baby steps
One of the biggest mistakes most people make with their New Year’s resolutions is trying to achieve them immediately. Whether you want to run 10k, lose a stone, double your sales or redecorate your entire house, it’s going to take a lot of baby steps to get there!
Break your resolution down into weekly goals as these baby steps are much more achievable. But…..
Don’t dismiss those baby steps and how much you can achieve in a year with baby steps
It can be easy to give up on resolutions when you don’t feel like you’re making any progress. For lots of resolutions, progress might feel painfully slow and you can’t imagine ever reaching your goal. You give up because your end goal feels so far away – but don’t give up!
Making tiny baby steps all year might feel like a long slog but you have to remember how quickly a year passes. It’ll be the end of 2021 before we know it and if you stuck with those baby steps, you will have walked a long way!
All those little baby steps don’t seem like a lot at the time but when you add them up over a year then they make all the difference!
If you started a year ago…
Something I like to remind myself of is how happy I’d be if I’d started working on that goal a year ago. Imagine where you’d be now if you’d just done it! Take that thought and let it give you the energy to start today so you will have achieved your goal by this time next year.
There’s a Pinterest quote floating around the internet: ‘Do something today that your future self will thank you for’.
It’s cheesy but I love it.
Document your journey to keep your New Year’s resolutions
It can be hard to recognise how far you’ve come, so find a way to track your progress and document your journey. This might be through photos, a spreadsheet of stats, a written journal, short videos or whatever way you find easiest to document your journey.
Seeing how far you’ve come will give you the motivation you need to keep going.
You might even want to blog about it to help other people with the same resolutions! If you do, you can check out my newbie blogging tips here.
Set resolutions that matter to you
And finally, if you want to keep your New Year’s resolutions then you need to make sure they’re goals you genuinely want to achieve.
I’ve set myself the goal to run a half marathon so many times! But do you know why I’ve never stuck to it? It’s because I don’t want to run a half marathon! And that’s OK. Everyone around me seemed to turn 30 and sign up to one and it felt like something I ‘should’ do.
I actually don’t mind running and I’ve got a lovely 7km route I do once or twice a week, but I’ve got no interest in racing or pushing myself for a better PB and I’ve finally realised that this is absolutely OK!
So those are my tips to help you keep your New Years resolutions or any goals you’ve set yourself throughout the year. If you have any other tips you’d like to share, please do put them in the comments below!