By mid-January, most people are ready to abandon their News Year’s resolutions. Here are six ways to make sure you’re not a quitter
By James Matthews
|...there’s still a chance to stop the rot and keep your New Year pledges alive.|
With the excitement of New Year’s Day consigned to distant memory, it’s little wonder our good intentions have started to fall by the wayside.
But there’s still a chance to stop the rot and keep your New Year pledges alive. To enhance your sticking power, here are six ways to keep your resolutions going all the way to 2021.
1. Start with a realistic number of resolutions
It can be tempting on 31 December to think of the year ahead as the one in which you’ll finally get in shape, read 50 books, take up the piano and master Italian. But while these are all laudable ambitions, taking on too many goals at once will make you less likely to see any of them through.
Setting just one or two targets means you can dedicate more time and energy to them, ultimately making you more likely to stick with them.
2. Set tangible goals
One of the most common reasons people give up on their New Year’s resolutions is because they’re too imprecise. We tend to opt for vague goals like taking more exercise, spending more time with family, or developing our confidence.
Having abstract targets like this means the goalposts are always moving and it’s almost impossible to monitor progress.
Once you have an idea of what you want to aim for this year, set specific goals like running in a 10k race or joining your local drama group. That way, you’ll find it easier to stay motivated as the year goes on.
3. Break your goals down into bite-size chunks
Once you’ve identified a goal, think about the individual steps you should take to get there. Breaking down a task like running a 10k into its component stages makes it much more achievable. Remember, to eat an elephant you start with one bite.
What’s more, every time you tick one of those stages off the list your brain releases a handy rush of dopamine to reward you and inspire you to keep going.
|What’s important is giving your resolutions a regular place in your routine.|
4. Make your resolutions part of your routine
Making time for your goals is key to achieving them. If your resolution is slipping away from you, fix a time for it in your daily or weekly routine. That should help you stay on track.
It doesn’t need to be a lot of time, either: just 20 minutes a day is plenty of time to complete an online language lesson, for example, or go for a decent run around the park.
What’s important is giving your resolutions a regular place in your routine. This establishes them as a habit rather than a passing fad.
5. Start small and build-up
Taking on a New Year’s resolution doesn’t have to mean making sudden and total changes to your lifestyle. In fact, that’s more likely to make you quit.
Take small steps at first, like going for a 10-minute run or having one vegan day a week. Not only is this less intimidating – it also gives you a much better chance of keeping to your resolution in those tricky early days before it becomes your new normal.
6. Track your progress
Finally, get a notebook or a diary and keep track of how your resolution is going. Every time you learn a new song on your guitar, meet your weekly budget target or write some of your novel, jot it down.
It might not sound like a big deal, but each time you record what you’ve done it reaffirms to your brain that you are making progress, which in turn is an incentive to keep coming back for more.
Plus, it gives you the reward of being able to look back at the end of the year and see how far you’ve come.
© 2020 Just Recruitment Group Ltd
Published: 17 January 2020
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