We say it every year, this year will be the one to lose weight, stop drinking as much and start eating healthy. Yet come mid-January, we find ourselves watching Netflix with a bottle of wine and a bowl of chips, our runners casually discarded underneath a pile of clothes. So how to make New Year’s resolutions stick? Our five step guide is here to help you as much as it is to keep us on track for 2016.
1. Focus on a single resolution
The fewer changes you have to make, the better your chance of making those changes permanent. Honing in on 1-3 resolutions means that you will be able complete the resolution without being overwhelmed. They will also form the foundation of more positive changes to come throughout the year.
2. Get someone to hold you accountable
Getting up and going for an early morning run is always easier when you have someone to rip off the doona and force you out of bed. Find someone to help mentor you along the way so they can pick you up when you need it most. Try and find someone who is sticking to the same resolution as you so you can help each other out. Their empathy and understanding are also great motivating factors.
3. Baby steps
It’s all well and good to promise yourself that you’ll learn five new languages this year and become a masterchef on the side – but let’s be real, you’ll end up playing Candy Crush on your phone instead of practicing French on your Duolingo app. Breaking down your goals into chunks means that you will be able to achieve them one small step at a time. These small achievements will give you the motivation to persevere with your resolution, much like a daily pat on the back.
4. Get techy
What a time to be alive – there is an app for everything these days. Take advantage of this technology by downloading apps to keep you on track and monitor your success. Simple pedometer apps will ensure you’re walking the 10 000 steps per day you promised yourself you would, while more niche apps like MyQuit will stop you reaching for that cigarette you know you shouldn’t have. Enabling push notifications on your apps will also hold you accountable and remind you to go for a daily run.
If you’ve traded wine for soda water or taken the stairs instead of the escalator, celebrate! Making a milestone of these small successes increases your positive attitude and motivation. Rewarding yourself for these achievements also shows how achievable your goals actually are, and will subconsciously encourage you to push yourself further and expand upon your resolutions.
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