How to make New Year’s resolutions you will keep and achieve
There’s no point making New Year’s resolutions if you don’t feel confident that you can stick to them.
So, to make sure you have the best chance of success with your resolutions, we’ve asked Gill Hasson, author of Mindfulness: Be Mindful and expert in the areas of confidence and self-esteem, to provide us with her top tips that should help you on your way.
Write down your resolutions on paper so that they are official and you can keep referring back to them. Then make a pledge to yourself; “I am going to get away from my desk and go for a 20 minute walk every lunchtime” or “I am going to get on top of my finances this year”.
Have realistic expectations
Think about what is feasible and attainable for you as an individual. Do not, for example, expect to be able to run a marathon by April if you have never even run a mile before. Instead, set achievable goals that you can build up to, such as complete a half marathon by June.
New Year’s resolutions often include words such as ‘mustn’t’, ‘won’t’ or ‘stop,’ – these are negative words and are unlikely to motivate you to try to reach your goals, so avoid using them if you can. Instead of thinking “I’m going to quit smoking” think, “I‘m going to be free of cigarettes.” Or instead of thinking “I’ve got to stop overspending” think “I’m going to take control of my money.” This mindset provides you with a positive attitude, removing any feelings of struggle and self-doubt.
See yourself achieving whatever it is you want to do. Think about how you will feel when you achieve your resolution - how pleased and proud you will be with yourself. Return to that image and feeling whenever you notice your confidence slipping.
Tell friends and family what your resolutions are and ask for their encouragement. Even better, if you discover someone who has the same resolution as you, for instance to be healthier, then agree you will exercise together twice a week so you both support each other.
Don’t give up
If you have broken your resolution, try to turn a setback into a comeback. Look for what you can learn from the setback and think about what did or did not happen, and what needs to change so you can get back on track.