Did you know that more American’s set New Year’s Resolutions than watch the SuperBowl? Did you also know only 1 in 10 people will achieve their goals, most of the others will quit by 23rd January. That’s just one reason why I detest New Year. So many of us spend the last couple of months of the year continuing with bad behaviours becasue “we’ll start in the New Year”. We then spend time moaning about all the crappy things that happened to us and how the next year will be so much better because of one thing or another.  We wake up on 1st January (probably with a headache) and declare that we will lose weight, start exercising, quit smoking, eat less junk, be nicer to our families blah blah blah. We feel determined at that moment in time. But for most, it’s just words. Why do we feel that it’s more important to do something, that positively benefits our life, just at the beginning of the year?  If we matter that much, should we not do it when we first identify the problem?

So is there a way to boost your chances of success?  Yep. I reckon adopting some of the following practices will help.
  • Set yourself several little target dates – 2 weeks, 6 weeks, 12 weeks and 12 months are good guidelines. Each target is the next stepping stone to the “big goal”!
  • It’s not just about you! –  How will your achievement impact others i.e. a better relationship with your partner? more energy for your children? better fitness means you can look after elderly parents?  
  • Positive Focus – instead of focusing on the “giving up” aspect, think about what you will gain? More money and reduced risk of a myriad of health conditions if you give up smoking!  More confidence leading to better work prospects, improved relationships, more opportunities. Most importantly, better health has to be top!
  • Don’t over commit – break your “big goal”, in to the smallest possible steps i.e. maybe for the first 14 days cut out/down on chocolate and alcohol (or whatever your biggest problems are),  then weeks 2-6, start to add 10 minutes exercise a day and build up to 30 minutes! This helps you to avoid the too much = misery = overwhelm = failure (again!)
  • Prepare and Plan – do this as much as you can. Plan your workout schedule, your rest schedule, your meal schedule, your menu plans. Fail to Plan, Plan to fail!
  • Don’t expect instant results – it’s just not real life
  • Reward yourself – new clothes, day at a spa, getting your nails done – avoid food related treats
Finally here is food for thought – I found this analogy for you from Janey Lee Grace, talking about not putting things off –
“Remember the saying that life is 3 score years and ten? Well imagine that each day of the week is a decade. If you are aged between 20-30 then you are already on Wednesday!  Ask yourself, given that I am on day X, if not now, when?”