Could these secret techniques be the key to sticking to your New Year’s resolutions?
You started 2016, just two weeks ago, full of good intentions: A new year; the new improved you.
There was no doubt in your mind that 2016 was to be the year that you’d lose those extra few pounds/renew your gym membership and go at least three times a week/eat healthily/reduce your alcohol consumption/complete your first marathon. (Delete as appropriate!)
However, not quite two weeks in, you can already feel your resolve slipping. (After all, January is just too depressing to contemplate without chocolate and wine. And as for February…)
But before you lose your resolve altogether in a quagmire of self-defeatism, read on to discover 5 secret techniques to ensure that 2016 is the year that the rest of the world gets to know the best version of you.
1 – Make monitoring your progress a part of every day
The Stoic Greek philosopher Seneca believed that we all have to take responsibility for our own actions. Translated into New-Year’s-resolution-keeping philosophy, you need to keep tabs on how you’re doing.
Whether it’s keeping a diary or purely a mental note, take a few minutes at the end of each day and think about what you’ve done well (30 minutes on the treadmill, for example) and where there’s room for improvement (the 2 doughnut pudding).
Focusing on your goals and achievements will strengthen your resolve – and your ability to stick to your guns – despite the temptations that life will inevitably throw your way.
2 – Tell your friends, family and colleagues
Making a promise to yourself is one thing. Telling others about your commitment is another. It changes your resolution from something internal to something you’ve publicly committed to, a position from which you don’t want to back down.
So start shouting about it now – and make sure those you tell are prepared not only to support you when you’re doing well but to hold you accountable when you’re not. That way, when you’re weighing up the pros and cons of a frosty run versus an extra half an hour snuggled under the covers with the curtains firmly closed, you’re more likely to make the virtuous decision.
3 – Give yourself (resolution-appropriate) rewards
Sticking to your resolutions isn’t all about relentless self-discipline. You need to congratulate and reward yourself for your achievements too.
Try setting short term goals, at the end of which you get to treat yourself. Not a totally counter-productive splurge, of course. But perhaps one of our divinely delicious Gourmet delights? . You can even use our blog Treat time – Discover our decadent naughties to find the perfect reward for you.
4 – Persevere with patience and persistence
In other words, don’t expect it to be a walk in the park after the first week. It takes time and effort to change your habits for the long term. Around 6 months, in fact, for something new to become part of your daily routine.
So don’t beat yourself up for small failings, but keep striving for another day, week, month. You’ll soon be back on track.
5 – Visualise the new you, and then become it
Ultimately, New Year’s resolutions aren’t really about what you’re giving up or taking up. They’re about you imagining a better version of yourself, and taking steps to make that dream a reality.
And that’s where visualisation comes in. Imagine the new you, living your new life, as often as you can. Whether it’s regular exercise or healthy eating, visualisation is a great way of energising and motivating yourself.