New Year's resolutions are a time-honored tradition that can help us improve our lives and make positive changes. As the year comes to a close and we look forward to the fresh start that a new year brings, many of us take the opportunity to set goals and intentions for the year ahead.
One common New Year's resolution is to improve our health and fitness. This might mean making a commitment to exercise regularly, eating a healthier diet, or quitting a harmful habit such as smoking. Another popular resolution is to prioritize our relationships and make an effort to connect with loved ones more often. This could involve setting aside time for regular date nights with a partner, reaching out to old friends, or making a plan to spend more quality time with family.
Some people make New Year's resolutions to achieve professional goals, such as advancing their careers or starting their own businesses. Others focus on personal growth, such as learning a new skill or hobby, traveling to new places, or developing a new hobby.
Regardless of what your specific New Year's resolutions may be, it's important to approach them with a positive attitude and a plan. Start by setting specific, achievable goals that are important to you. Then, make a plan to work towards these goals on a daily or weekly basis. Consider enlisting the help of a friend or accountability partner to keep you on track.
When making a new year’s resolution, it is not as planned out as other forms of goal setting. Most people will be quite vague about their new year’s resolutions:
This is the first step of goal setting, figuring out what the desired end result is. But where most people go wrong when setting a new year’s resolution is this is where they stop.
The next part of goal setting is further defining the goal, for example:
You need to know what success will look like; otherwise, you’re just working towards a goal without a clearly defined endpoint.
The next step of goal setting is to create a game plan for how you will achieve the goal. What kind of things will you do to help your chances? Are you going to hire a personal trainer for your weight loss journey, or will you focus on just eating better and doing home workouts?
Now instead of your goal being, “I want to lose weight”, it is “I want to lose 3 stone this year. I will do this by learning to cook healthy meals and hiring a personal trainer to help me work out.”
The best way to stay on track for your new year’s resolution is to break it down into a daily habit. For the weight loss goal, it could be doing some kind of workout every day or cooking a healthy dinner every day. For the savings goal, it could be bringing your lunch instead of buying it every day or getting coffee from the free machine at work instead of popping into Nero on the way to work.
This daily habit may change a little as the year goes on. Your daily habit might start off as a half an hour walk every day or some yoga, and then midway through the year, you might be visiting the gym or going jogging. Set your daily habits at the start of the month so you can make them gradually more difficult or react to things that you found difficult the previous month.
Your goal of losing 3 stone should be broken down into mini-goals to help measure your progress as you go. If your goal is weight loss, this may mean a monthly weigh-in where you aim to lose half a stone. You can even set yourself related but different challenges throughout the year to keep things fun. This could be something like a goal to run a 10km in August or a shopping trip halfway through the year to buy a dress for your new size. You might even challenge yourself to host a healthy dinner party with some friends and have enough delicious and satisfying recipes in your repertoire to cook a number of dishes for them.
One of the major reasons people struggle to stick with their New Year’s Resolutions is because they try to go too hard too fast. They hit the gym and start doing hour-long heavy weight lifting sessions instead of gradually working up to that. Start off with something that is attainable in order to get into the habit. Then gradually increase the difficulty every few weeks or every month. Remember, you have a whole year to reach your goal.
Remember, it's okay if you stumble or face setbacks along the way. The key is to remain committed and continue working towards your goals, even if it takes longer than you anticipated. And most importantly, don't be too hard on yourself if you don't achieve everything you set out to do. The point of New Year's resolutions is to improve our lives, not to create unnecessary pressure or stress.
So, as the new year approaches, take some time to reflect on what you want to achieve and make a plan to make it happen. Happy New Year!
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