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5 Ways To Make Those Resolutions Last

Resolutions pad

What are your New Year’s Resolutions?

Here we are in 2018! And we all know what that means, don’t we? That’s right, it’s New Year’s Resolutions time…again.

For many of us New Year’s Resolutions signify a fresh start and time to embark on changes and challenges for a new, improved self. Sadly, despite the best of intentions, this often fizzles out within a matter of weeks (or days) and we return to our old habits. How can we give ourselves the best chance at sticking to these aspirations and make them part of our lives moving forward? Here are 5 tips to keep you on track and make those resolutions stick!

1. Don’t Set Yourself Up For Failure.

Make small, achievable changes that won’t become insurmountable and easy to give up at the first obstacle/challenge. Once those small changes have become part of your routine, implement other ones. If you try to change too much at once, it can become all too hard and very easy to break your resolutions and give up everything.

If this year’s goal is to get fit and you’re coming from a place where you considered walking to the fridge to get a beer as exercise, there’s no point making your resolution to go to the gym 6 days a week. This is unrealistic and there’s not much chance you’ll stick with it long term. Start by walking to work or getting off the bus 2 stops early and walking from there as a start. Building up from there to 30 mins of walking and possibly some bodyweight exercises at home. Once you get used to increased physical activity, then join the gym so it’s not such a huge shock to the system. Besides, gyms in January are rammed full of New Year’s Resolution-ers just like you. Wait until February when some of the heat has died down.

On the other hand, if you’re trying to give up smoking this year, don’t be ashamed of getting a little help. Using nicotine patches and/or gum to help get through the cravings isn’t cheating; the main thing is that you quit. For good.

 Join our online personal training and nutrition programme 👉 Read more

2. Find Support.

This can come from family, friends, colleagues or even online. If you can make the change a group/team thing, you’ll be more likely to succeed and help each other through inevitable challenges. While ultimately YOU are in control of the choices you make, more people on your team can help make those choices easier.

3. Minimise Temptation.

For the first couple of weeks this is going to be especially important. Breaking habits is hard; there’s no doubt about that. So removing yourself from situations where you’re likely to be tempted will give you a better chance to succeed. E.g., if you’re giving up smoking, don’t have cigarettes in the house, don’t go for “fresh air” breaks with smoking colleagues where there’ll be smoke all around you and temptation staring you in the face. If you’re trying to eat better, remove the biscuits and chocolate from your cupboards. It’s easier to resist temptation if their not within easy reach! When we went vegan for Veganuary last year, we knew we had to make sure our cupboards and fridge was free of animal products and full of healthy options to make it easier to stick to the plan. This leads us onto number 4…

4. Be Prepared For Obstacles And Challenges.

Resolutions planner

Be prepared!

This goes hand-in-hand with number 3. Life isn’t just smooth sailing, lollipops and rainbows; there are going to be things that pop up that will challenge your resolve and tempt you back to the habits of before. Sometimes they’ll come out of left field and try to knock you off course, while others you can predict and prepare for. One example is the eventuality of a friend’s birthday celebration. You can almost guarantee there’ll be alcohol, someone who smokes, and plenty of unhealthy foods and desserts to tempt you! When you know these hurdles are approaching, be sure to have a contingency plan.

Here are some examples:
Attend the event with one of your support network in tow to help you avoid making bad choices. If food is the challenge, check out the menu online before the event and have your choice prepared. If it’s smoking or alcohol that’s the test, be the designated driver for the night, so you’re not tempted to drink, lower your inhibitions and give in to temptation.

5. Nobody’s Perfect.

If you slip up, don’t give up! Giving something up cold turkey is never going to be easy. Likewise, making a new change in your life takes time and it’s easy to go back to your old ways, especially if you’ve been doing something for years and years. So if you fall off the wagon, don’t beat yourself up and call it quits. Dust yourself off and get back on. Keep at it and continue to make that change you really wanted. In time it should get easier as the change becomes part of your new life and new you.

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