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It has become a tradition that at the start of every New Year, people make resolutions. You’ll often hear people say “my New Year’s resolution is this” and “my New Year’s Resolution is that”. Most times, these resolutions are related to achieving a healthy lifestyle and almost nothing else.
Now, I used to be among these group of people that constantly kept making New Year’s resolutions, most of which I did not adhere to after the first few weeks into the New Year.
However, there are other people that set goals for the New Year, goals that are not only based on achieving a healthy lifestyle but much more! As I grew older, I find myself setting more goals for the New Year other than making unrealistic resolutions.
Now you’ll probably be thinking to yourself, “what’s the difference?” Well, there is a slight difference. Most times when people make resolutions, they’re unrealistic to achieve. For instance, if you’re a smoker, you could be like “my resolution this New Year is to stop smoking”. I mean it’s great that you want to stop smoking by the end of that year, but…
…how long will you keep it up for?
…how realistic is this resolution of yours?
Unless you have a very strong and determined mindset, this resolution is quite difficult to achieve and for various reasons you may end up giving up after a little while.
Set achievable goals for yourself. So instead of saying “my resolution this New Year is to stop smoking”, you could instead set goals and targets for yourself throughout the year with the aim to stop smoking.
For instance, if you smoke 10 cigarettes per day you could reduce it to 8 in the first 3 months and then to 6 in the next 3 months and 3 in the following 3 months and so on. By the end of the year, you would have gone from smoking 10 cigarettes a day to smoking 0-2 cigarettes a day.
Here are my top tips and tricks to win this New Year:
Set your mindset
One’s mindset is a combination of their values, their beliefs, their attitude and their approach towards a situation. It is a very powerful tool and it determines your behaviours. Before you decide to make any changes to the way you’re currently living, the first thing and in my opinion, the most important thing you need to do is to change your mindset about whatever change you want to make.
Ever heard of this quote by Albert Einstein “you cannot solve your problem with the same thinking you used when you created that problem”. Therefore, its quite evident that having a changed mindset is crucial any change to occur.
You need to really want that change from the inside, this will reflect on the outside. Think about the change you want to make, why do you want to make that change? What view about your old lifestyle/ habit has changed? It’s not useful wanting to eat healthily for instance, but then you view eating healthy as a punishment. There is a saying that “if you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” Let the change starts from the inside of you!
Start on time
Don’t let procrastination set in. Sometimes when people want to make a change, they will usually want to start later. Why wait till the New Year to start making that change! What is stopping you from starting now? Do you want to become more active? Why wait till you sign up for the gym? You can start by walking, going for a light run, dancing, skipping, doing exercises that don’t require equipment. You do need to wait, and you don’t even need the gym at all if you’re thinking about the money. Wanting to wait till later only does you harm by reducing your chances of making your change. You could become unbothered and give up. Don’t give yourself that leeway!
Before the previous year comes to an end and the New Year starts, you should already be setting goals for yourself with regards to the change that you’re making. So that comes to the New Year, you’ll already be prepared, and you’ll know what to do and what you’re aiming toward. This obviously eliminates any procrastination. Start now!
Set short term goals
Setting short term goals is the best approach to achieving a long-term goal. It’s realistic, most attainable and much easier. Say you want to live a healthier lifestyle, you can start setting a goal of one month or two for yourself and challenging yourself to stick to your plan. At the end of this goal period, set yourself another goal and just keep going.
Chunk by chunk
In addition to setting short term goals for yourself, set these goals in bite size, chunk by chunk! Sticking to a healthy lifestyle as an example. There are so many aspects to leading a healthy lifestyle, which includes eating healthily, exercising, healthy habits and self-care. Would you want to be healthy in all aspects or just one aspect. Let’s say you want to focus on all aspects, then your bite size goals should be something like this:
|Month 1 (diet focused)||Month 2 (diet focused)||Month 3 (activity focused)|
|Drink at least 3 liters of water||Limited carbs||Walk instead of using a car or transport|
|No junk food||More protein and veggies||Go for a run at least twice a week (start comfortably and increase duration, frequency weekly)|
|Meal prep||Cut down sugar||Go for a walk during lunch hour|
Write it down
Pretty much self-explanatory. You need to know what your goals are so that you can keep yourself accountable and track your progress. This brings me to the next points.
Tell others or make it public; I know this might sound off but seriously telling everyone around you will help you keep on track. Ever said to your friends “I’m going on a diet” and then when you’re tempted and about to eat that chocolate or cake someone just stops you in your tracks and say something like “you’re on a diet so no chocolate for you”. Well, that’s the reason why you make the people around you aware of your decisions. Only if you are comfortable to do so as I understand that there are some things that are just a bit too personal well, in this case, tell someone that you can confide in. a spouse, partner, boyfriend/girlfriend, pastor, best friend. Another way to keep yourself accountable is to have a deadline. Without this how are you able to track your progress. You need a start and endpoint.
Track your progress
Whatever the outcome is just keep going. Until you get the sort of outcome that you’re looking for!
Thank you for reading
Do reach out if you’ve got any questions
Love you x