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Why it is Hard to Keep New Year's Resolutions with 5 tips to Help Keep Them!

Your social media has probably been alight since Christmas with "New Year, New You!" posts (BLEH). You probably also know that the majority of resolutions fall by the wayside quickly and want to know how to keep New Year’s resolutions. Is it actually possible?

In honesty, I’m not a fan of traditional resolutions. There's a huge amount of pressure for us to reinvent ourselves for no reason other than the year going up by 1. Change is best achieved through a marathon, not a sprint. The main reason people find it hard to keep resolutions is due to their approach to them and how they’re set. Resolutions are usually set as a big, nebulous goal. We try to change too much in one go, our minds and bodies freak out, we quit, then feel absolutely sh*t about ourselves. Lather, rinse, repeat next year.

That being said, the New Year can be a natural point to think about what we’d like to achieve in the next 12 months. This post will explain why resolutions are hard to keep along with 5 tips on how to keep the New Year’s resolutions you make, complete with free worksheets to support you.

1. Have a Brain Dump

List anything you may like to achieve over the next 12 months. It can be a new venture, but it doesn’t have to be. Is there something you already do that you’d like to improve at? Maybe there’s something you’ve put off for a while that you’d finally like to tackle? Items on the list can be regarding health, friends and family, personal growth, hobbies... (you don’t have to do everything - remember to have fun!). If you end up with a long list, prioritise the things you want to focus on and trim it down to an amount of goals that’s realistic to tackle over the next 12 months.

2. How to Keep New Year’s Resolutions? Get Specific

Remember when I said resolutions are usually too nebulous? This is a key step in how to keep a New Year’s resolution. The more specific you can be with your desired goals, the better – what exactly is it you want to achieve? For example, a popular resolution people set is, “to get fit”. But what does that actually mean? How will you know when you’ve achieved it? An example of a specific, measurable goal would be, “go to the gym twice a week for a month”, or, “walk for 30 minutes 6 days a week for a month”. Remember, the key is SPECIFIC and MEASURABLE.

3. Set mini-goals

Most big goals can be broken down into smaller or mini goals. These are great for maintaining motivation and giving you a sense of achievement while you’re working towards your overall objective and increase your chances of sticking to and achieving your bigger goal. To paraphrase the old adage, mountains are climbed a step at a time! Look at how you can break down your big goal and tick off your mini goals as you hit them. A record of your successes will help with motivation when you feel yourself flagging.

4. How Long?

Setting a timeframe for completion will also help you keep your resolution – don’t forget, you have the whole year to work towards your goals, not just January! This is another key reason resolutions are hard to keep – either people go all out for January and burn out by February, or there is no deadline set for their goal, so things taper off.

Be realistic about how long your goals may take, how you will be able to fit them in around your other obligations, as well as what’s a sustainable schedule. Remember, a marathon, not a sprint. If you have more than one goal, plan them out to make sure you give enough time to each one. Depending on your personal preference, you may want to focus on one goal at a time or mix them up to keep things interesting!

5. How to Keep New Year's Resolutions? Get Help

What resources do you need to help you keep your resolution? This could be in the form of professionals - like a personal trainer, nutritionist or coach - friends and family for support, lessons or courses for expertise…Change is much easier with a support team! Have a think about what help you’ll need for each stage of your goal.

There’s no law that says that you have to make resolutions, but if you like using the New Year as a starting point, I hope the above is helpful. The reason New Year’s resolutions are hard to keep is because most resolutions aren’t well-defined and success is hard to measure. The key to keeping your resolutions is to get specific. Define what it is you want to achieve, as well as how you can measure your achievement. Break down your resolutions into smaller goals to make your overall objective more manageable. Set deadlines to help with planning and motivation. Don’t forget to download your free worksheets!

To find out more about working with me, visit my website. To keep up with the latest on what I’m up to, check out my Instagram.

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