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5 tips on how to keep your New Years resolutions

Midnight hits and we all imagine that we can become a different person; the parts of ourselves that are less than perfect come under intense scrutiny. And indeed it is certainly a bleak outlook; only 8% keep to their resolutions, with most of the drop off being within the first week. So how do I commit to my new year’s resolution and actually make it work for me.

CREDIT: Alen-D / Big Stock

1) Planning
Ok boring I know, but if you want to be successful in any way you need to prepare. This comes in many forms. For example, if you are trying a healthy eating plan, the leftover food and chocolates will only act as temptation. If you are joining a gym or taking part in any sports activity, make sure you have the correct equipment ready to go. A calendar is your best weapon on making any form of change as it will help you integrate the change around your existing lifestyle and responsibilities.

2) Be realistic
This is key to why most resolutions fail. It can be that people want the end goal without working towards it. With some things you may see immediate results and feel the benefit however most life changing goals are slow burners. For example, if you want to quit smoking are you equipped to go cold turkey on the first of January after smoking 20 a day for the last three years? With any form of addiction either replacement or substitution is proven to be more effective in the long term.


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3) Motivation
So you’ve made the resolutions, you’ve tweeted it, set it up on Facebook so the world can see how serious you are about it. Why are you doing it? If it wasn’t New Year’s Eve and everybody else wasn’t making outrageous claims would you still care about your goal. Realistically making any change in life is hard. With anything in life we have peaks and troughs in activity and it is motivation that pulls us through the low periods.

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If you are joining a gym there is also a financial implication that will be in place long after January has faded. If you are making a lifestyle change, you need to be able to follow through on.

4) Fad to Habit
Different experts hold different opinions on how long it takes for a habit to form. The general census seems to land it between 21-28 days before the new activity has become part of your routine. If you make it past the first month you are doing excellently but habits can still be broken and it is not safe to assume that you have made a change for life

5) Be kind to yourself
Strict and firm boundaries are important to adapting to any lifestyle changes. You’ll tell yourself it doesn’t matter if you miss today’s gym session or had a smoke while you were drunk. It does – you’ve broken the promise you made to yourself.

However, it’s not worth chucking away all the progress you’ve made so far. You’re human and you made a mistake, it’s worth remembering that Rome wasn’t built in a day and Ben Cohen didn’t get unreasonably hot over night!

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