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Happy New Years Resolutions

It’s that time of year again when we tell ourselves things are going to be different. Lose weight. Exercise more. Quit smoking. Drink less. Get more sleep.

These are the most popular New Year’s Resolutions but, sadly, most of these noble ambitions fizzle out around the same time the Christmas decorations are packed back into their boxes and the last of the unwanted gifts has been returned.

The thing about New Year’s Resolutions is they are very, very, easy to make but much more difficult to keep.

But this year can be different.

Many of us will be happy to leave 2020 behind so setting and achieving goals for 2021 has taken on even more significance.

So, what can we do to give ourselves a better chance of succeeding and meeting and keeping our 2021 goals and New Year’s Resolutions?

As with so many things in modern life there is an industry surrounding every task and opportunity. There are shelves of self-help books, professional consultants to analyze your urges, support groups to lend a shoulder to cry on and, in LALA-land, even people badging themselves New Year’s Resolutionists – experts in helping set and meet your goals – or at least charge you a handsome fee for trying.

While you may wish to commission their support, here are half a dozen free tips to help you keep your 2021 resolutions for longer.

Visualise Your Goal:

Imagine what it looks like and how it will make your life better. Your brain is your best friend in achieving your resolution. Our neural pathways make one positive thought lead to another so painting a mental picture of what achieving your resolution looks like creates mental muscle memory to help motivate and drive you onward when the going gets tough.

Make Your Goals Achievable:

While it may be your ambition to never eat cake again, it’s probably unlikely that morsels of baked goodness will never pass your lips again. Perhaps a more realistic goal is to eat less cake or only at the weekend. You can shape the resolution to meet your circumstances but there is little point setting a goal you know isn’t going to be achieved and at which you are doomed to fail.

Set Small Incremental Steps:

You may want to lose 40lbs, fit into that sharkskin suit from your youth, pump iron for hours on end or complete your first marathon – but, realistically, it’s not going to happen in the first week of January is it! Why not aim to shed 5lbs a month – a modest and realistic target – or add 5 minutes extra to your work-out routine? or increase the length of your run by a couple of miles every six weeks? Slow and steady is more likely to return the results you are looking for.

Share your Resolutions:

In much the same way visualizing your goal gives you a personal surge of motivation, so does peer pressure. If you have told everyone you are going to be running the New York Marathon this year, raising funds for your favorite charity in the process, chances are you are more likely to do it than if you kept that secret to yourself. Nobody likes to fail, but everybody hates being proven to have failed in the eyes of friends and family.

Record and Celebrate Your Achievements:

As you meet a goal – the first 5lbs shed, the first 5K run or the first week without buying cigarettes – record it. You can keep a journal or chalk off a goal on a wallchart. You can also tell your children, phone your sister or post your success on Instagram or Facebook. A big part of keeping motivated and making progress towards your goals is reveling in the joy of soliciting congratulations from friends and family.

Don’t Beat Yourself Up!

While we all sincerely hope you achieve your resolutions and go on to live a totally splendid life, if, for whatever reason, you fall short –well, so be it. If you only lost half of that 40lb target that is still a tremendous achievement. If you couldn’t get to New York in September but have been jogging and running every week this year, that’s a fantastic result. Or, if you’ve succumbed to a cigarette or two when dealing with a stressful situation but have dramatically cut down your tobacco habit – good for you!

So set your 2021 New Year’s Resolutions without fear. See them as an opportunity to make improvements to living a better life and remind yourself, you are already a great person, these are just ideas to polish perfection!

Happy New Year from all at The Beach Group

Written by Martin Liptrot

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