Have you ever made a new-year resolution and not been able to stick to it? Given up after a few days of agony or in the face of temptation? Of course you have. We all have! But I think there are reasons for these failures that have nothing to do with temptation or poor resolve. Here are my tips to help you to set better resolutions for yourself and, even better, to achieve them.
1. Focus on The ONE thing that you really want/need to change. Set ONE resolution not many resolutions. More often than not, it is trying to make changes in multiple areas that guarantee failure in most.
2. Make your resolution POSITIVE rather than negative. Don’t think in terms of giving something up (which is what you might do for Lent) or doing less of something. Instead, express your resolution in terms of what you want to achieve that will make you feel better in mind, body or spirit as a result. For example, rather than saying, ‘I’m going to give up booze,’ resolve to become sober; rather than lose 10lbs, resolve to get fitter/ achieve a better body weight/ more muscle definition.
3. See your end result clearly and be SPECIFIC about what, by when and how you will achieve it. Make sure that your resolution is something that you can achieve realistically in the timescale and in your current position/ circumstances. So, for example you could resolve to be sober throughout January, but that might not be realistic if you are going on holiday with friends who drink for 2 weeks in that month. Resolve to sober in February instead.
4. Write your resolution down and post it in places where you will see it regularly: a note on the fridge door, the bathroom mirror, in your diary or planner. You could even go as far as to make a chart and record stepping stones, deadlines and their achievement. You will be encouraged by evidence of success!
5. Tell a friend, or enrol a buddy in the same resolution. It will help to have someone to check up on/discuss progress or issues with you, and to celebrate success when you (both) achieve your desired result.
This year I decided to eat gluten free because I am intolerant to wheat, and most bread, even if advertised as rye or spelt for example, contains wheat. But I don’t enjoy eating gluten free bread or cakes. As there are more and more wheat- free flour products available, in 2019 my resolution is to learn how to make my own wheat-free bread. Good luck with your resolutions for 2019, whatever they are!