New Years Resolutions Done Right

Happy New Year Everyone! Are you tired of New Years Resolutions? Do they cause you depression and anxiety?

What’s the big deal about New Years resolutions? After all – there is no time like the present to set and review goals. Well, it just happens to be January, so let’s take the opportunity to have a look at getting it right!

Many reading this may well say they are “done” with new years resolutions. The very nature of them means that we keep coming back to the ones that haven’t worked in the past – so we tend to set resolutions around our weaknesses, rather than capitalising on our strengths. As noble as it is to recognise our weaknesses and attempt to change them, we are facing an uphill battle if we don’t set a plan of action that focuses on capitalising on the strengths we already have. For those of us with a habit of “beating ourselves up” over resolutions that didn’t turn out as planned, this can weigh on us to the point where we may want to throw in the towel.

For some of us who did set new years resolutions; come February, we often find that the casual resolutions thrown about over Christmas drinks have either been forgotten, or are already starting to look too difficult.

So are New years resolutions worth doing?  Is there a better way of doing it to the way you are doing it now? Absolutely.

Give the following tips a try:

-Set goals using the S.M.A.R.T. approach (see previous posts).

– Avoid massive changes. Instead, plan to celebrate smaller wins toward small goals. The science says it’s far more likely to work for you. And you can always go back and set the next step in the next quarter.

– Do it gradually. You’re far more likely to have success if you do it in little chunks.
For instance, if you want to eliminate junk food from your diet, and total abstinence hasn’t worked in the past, remember that you don’t need to do it all at once. Instead, try not having junk food for one meal a week, then every third meal, and so on. You’re more likely to have success if you do it in little chunks.

-Forgive yourself, because willpower will always ebb and flow. Use the moments when you’re feeling resolved to prepare for the times when you might falter.

-Set your life to minimise temptation. Put on your gym gear the night before, slice up fruit and veg and place it at the front of the fridge. Remember that if we order the super-size popcorn at the cinema, we will eat it.

-If necessary, make fewer resolutions in the first couple of weeks or months to allow yourself to really focus on what you want to accomplish.

And remember – if you have “fallen off the horse” already, don’t be too critical of yourself.  Setbacks are part of the process.  Just remember to get back on the horse.

If you would like some personal assistance with setting goals, or if something keeps on blocking you, a personal consultation with a Gold Coast Psychologist can help.  

See the blog section at Psycoaching.com.au for more helpful articles.

What are your thoughts on new years resolutions?  Let us know in the comments below.

-Richard

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