If you’re like most people, you’ve probably set at least one new year’s resolution at some stage in your life.
If, also like most people, you forget about your resolution and find yourself on the couch mid-January with a block of dairy milk feeling guilty, you’re not alone.
Let’s be honest with ourselves here, new years resolutions can be a guilt-ridden nightmare, but they don’t have to be.
If we go about them the wrong way, we can end up feeling ashamed at our failure to achieve the goals we set the year before.
But if we change the way we perceive and set resolutions, they can become vehicles of great change in our lives.
If you’re ready to stop torturing yourself with strict, unrealistic resolutions, read on.
1: Shift your focus:
As much as we don’t want to admit it, we can sometimes fall into the trap of setting resolutions that we believe will be “socially acceptable” or that will make us look good.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with setting a resolution to lose weight, eat clean or go to the gym every day. There is however something wrong when you’re setting those goals because you feel like you should or that you feel that people may judge you for your resolution to attend knitting classes.
Resolutions should be set from the heart. If you’re making a resolution to go to the gym five days a week but you despise the gym then don’t set yourself up for the misery of dragging yourself to a place you hate and the sense of shame if you fail to achieve it.
You need to hit mute on everyone else’s opinion and what their resolutions are and listen to your own sense of self.
Shifting your focus away from what everyone else is doing allows you to make meaningful resolutions that you can not only keep, but that will make a real positive impact on your life.
2: Set realistic goals:
Most resolutions fail because people impose unrealistic expectations on themselves.
It is absolutely unreasonable to expect yourself to walk 20,000 steps every single day for the whole year.
The simple secret to achieving your resolutions is to set realistic goals.
Think of the overall goal you want to achieve and break it into smaller more manageable pieces. From these pieces, work out what you need to do each day or week to achieve these steps.
For example if your goal is to save for a holiday you could divide the goal amount by 12 to come up with a monthly target. You then may choose to divide that by four and set a smaller weekly goal.
This makes the resolution seem less daunting, offers reasonable steps to achieve your end goal and gives you more of a chance at succeeding.
Once you start succeeding with your smaller goals, your confidence grows. With this confidence comes the ability to achieve more of your goals which kick-starts an amazing cycle of confidence and success.
3: Be flexible:
It’s not just unrealistic expectations that can affect your ability to keep a resolution.
Being too rigid with your resolutions will also make achieving it harder, if not impossible.
Make sure you are flexible and leave room for life’s little curve-balls.
Illness, injury, family emergencies, work commitments and car troubles are just some of the things that pop up and cause disruption.
By leaving wiggle room in your schedule you will ensure that life’s setbacks won’t impact your resolution goal too much.
4: Just keep swimming:
The above steps are fantastic but they are only going to work if you don’t stop working towards your end goal.
There will be times where things get hard and you will feel like giving up, but often the next big breakthrough is just around the corner so keep reaching for it!
There can be a number of different reasons why you feel like quitting but remember why you started in the first place. Remember why you made the resolution, why its important to you and how it will make a positive change in your life once achieved.
We all need a break sometimes and make sure you schedule in some time to relax and rejuvenate. You’re no good to yourself if you’re stressed and burned out so do yourself a favour and remember to have some play in among all the work.
When your goals are true to you, your values and your personal integrity, you will want to keep working on them and allow nothing to get in your way. When you set goals that are important to you on so many deeper, personal levels, you become an unstoppable force.
Rest if you must but do not stop and watch amazing things happen!