Spend more time with family!
Spend less money!
Whilst the New Year can be thought of as a turning point for some or a starting point to a life-long aspiration it can become a bit daunting for others. In addition to the post-holiday slump and the extended 'resting' period from all the parties and end of year projects, it may increase our anxiety when we find ourselves struggling to keep our resolutions by February or March or even late January. And more often than not we find ourselves frustrated at the failed resolutions which can make your following months feel even more hopeless.
However, may reading this serve as a constant reminder to you that the New Year isn't meant to serve as a catalyst for any momentous character changes, what it should be is a time for people to reflect on the past year and plan to make small positive lifestyle changes.
As a wise woman once said "Setting small, attainable goals throughout the year, instead of a singular, overwhelming goal on January 1 can help you reach whatever it is you strive for," (Psychologist Lynn Bufka). What's most important is not the extent or greatness of the resolution but making it realistic so that you have greater chances of keeping it throughout the year, and once you recognise it as a lifestyle change that is important, you can work towards it one step at a time.
So here are some pro tips for making your 2018 resolutions and may your small changes come to fruition!
- Realistic goals need realistic wording. For example; instead of just having your same, broad “exercise more” scheduling a time say 3 or 4 times a week would be a more realisable goal. Another example; instead of “eat healthier”, being more specific and replacing dessert with yoghurt instead, may help in making this lifestyle transition much easier to bear.
- One at a time. It’s difficult to develop a habit so making drastic changes to your behaviour in one go can be a little overwhelming. So don’t feel the need to reassess everything in your life but instead work towards changing one behaviour at a time.
- It’s okay to make mistakes. It’s okay and completely normal to make minor missteps on the way of attaining your goal and setting in that new habit. But it is not okay to give up completely after eating a snack or skipping gym one week after a busy schedule.
- Talk about it. Some habits are harder to break and create than others. Reaching out and asking for support to share your struggle and successes can help when you’re overwhelmed at times.
These tips are only some guidelines to help you make more effective changes for the new year. But whatever happens, the most important tip to follow is to never give up on yourself because progress can only happen with change, even if it is just a change in mindset.