How to keep your New Year's resolutions

Monday, December 10, 2012
How to keep your New Year's resolutions

So you’ve vowed to improve your fitness, meet The One, spring clean your lifestyle and pay off your credit card. Whatever your New Year’s resolutions, the sad truth is that come January, a vast majority will be broken.

According to Tom Connellan, author of “The 1 Percent Solution: How to Make Your Next 30 Days the Best Ever”, 25 percent of resolutions are abandoned by the first week of January.

There are many reasons why resolutions aren’t kept, but according to Connellan, three stand out.

We rely on motivation only. People believe they will find one secret trick to motivating themselves when motivation actually comes from small successes.

We only think big. People only think in large terms that are often unrealistic – like losing lots of weight or making a major life change.

We don’t realise that even positive change is uncomfortable. Change, even good change, is a break from the norm.

So to keep your resolution all year long, take note of the following tips for crafting out your life changes in 2012.

Focus on one resolution. People desperate for a life overhaul make the mistake of vowing several changes at once. Bad idea. Committing yourself to a whole list of improvements is overwhelming, and most likely, unachievable. (Can you really put in more hours at the office in hope of a promotion while spending more time with the kids? Exactly.) Pick one habit, behaviour or trait that you truly want to tweak and make it your task for 2012.

Give yourself a reasonable timeline. Resolutions like “I’m going to lose five kilos by February” are certainly admirable, but in such a limited time frame, are not likely achievable. Giving yourself a reasonable time frame, along with decent parameters, will help you keep on track. Set weekly or monthly goals and monitor your success along the way – tweaking as you go.

Don’t do it alone. Telling your friends and family about your resolution might be daunting at first, but keeping your loved ones in the loop offers two advantages: Firstly, they’ll keep you away from potential threats (your signature desert dish) and secondly, that extra bit of support from the people rooting for you, will make you try harder at achieving your goal.

Your say: Have you ever followed through with a New Year’s resolution? Share your story below.

Related video: How to keep your New Year's resolutions.

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