Love or hate them… we all tend to either make them, break them or try our best to ignore everything about them! Whatever your feelings on the matter, New Year’s resolutions are about to be shoved down your throat quicker than last Malteser in the pack. 🙂
I’m gonna go out on a whim here to say, that having resolutions aren’t bad. Any active choice to better yourself (regardless of how cheesy it may seem) can only be a good thing – especially when it comes to bettering yourself. Gosh, we all need that extra reason sometimes!
If you’re game for setting New Year’s resolutions, here are 7 simple steps to help you on your way…
1.) Determine your resolution
Obviously, there are so many different types of resolutions and yours will naturally be different from the next person’s. Whether your goal is to’ ‘be happy’, ‘exercise more’ or just ‘eat Ben & Jerry’s each day’, defining a clear resolution is half the battle!
I’m a firm believer that our achievements in life come about due to a mixing of hard work, luck and a great deal of determination. It really is no different when it comes to New Year’s Resolutions.
This year, one of the main goals (for me, anyway) is to be happier in myself through healthier eating and losing a little weight (a major status quo around NYE, I know). I figure that defining my resolution as eating healthier and losing a little weight will form the foundations of my most important resolution of being happy.
2.) Define ‘why’ your resolutions are important
Learning the ‘why’ your resolution is important will allow you to emotionally and mindfully connect to your resolution. Our varying range of emotions are what make us unique, so if you can tap into these, it becomes more likely that you’ll stick to your plan.
For instance, eating healthier is important for me as I know there is a history of cardiovascular disease in my family, also I’m very aware that I eat enough Nando’s to feed a small village each week. For me, the former is enough to scare me into action (see that emotion coming into play 😉 ).
Just remember to think deeply about why it’s important to you. It will serve as one of the strongest reminders and sources of motivation when times get tough sticking to your resolutions – better still, it will ensure that the path you take to achieving your resolution is reflection of your very own needs and wants.
3.) Embrace positive environments
One of the best ways you can achieve your goals is to position yourself around positive influences. (Sounds a tad naff but bear with. 🙂 ) This can be through people, places or even acquiring knowledge – all of which (although not limited to just these) can affect how we respond to things emotionally and ultimately, our behaviour.
After all, that’s why the likes of ‘spin classes’ actually exist…not to drench you in your own sweat and have a face as red as a beetroot but to actually allow you to benefit from collegial support. Everyone else doing the same routine, everyone else sweating and very visibly showing that the spin class is taking its physical toll on them – this kind of support goes a lot further than a lot of people realise.
This is what helped me in our wellness retreat we tried this year. Immersing yourself within positive environment will help you limit your risk of failing and further support you to reach your end goal.
You might remember, a few months ago, we hoped on a plane to the stunning island of Ibiza. Nope, not for partying and hedonistic evenings as you might guess (that was another time) ;-), but to undertake our first ever Soulshine Retreat on the island.
My time at the retreat really helped me to understand my habits and my limitations that were the main culprits in my unhealthy eating.
As soon as we arrived at Soulshine Retreats, I instantly knew how incredible and positive this place was. Nestled within a luxurious villa, with its own pool and terrific vistas across the island, the whole ethos of Soulshine Retreats is to foster a safe space to learn, grow and ultimately better understand yourself.
Over the course of a week, we were taught, pampered and shown how we can create better choices for our own health and wellbeing beyond the retreat itself (which means less Nando’s for me). 😉
The whole retreat was fantastic! What I loved most about Soulshine Retreats was the supportive team. Soulla, who envisaged this incredible experience truly understands the importance of choice and empowerment (through support and not military style regimes). Throughout the whole week, I was allowed to push myself, whilst learning longer-term techniques that I still use today.
The point that I’m getting to (rather long-windedly) is that positive environments really do work in facilitating change!
4.) Celebrate milestones
Whatever your resolution or goal is, make sure you know how to identify milestones and achievements… and, of course, subsequently celebrate them! Being able to congratulate yourself doesn’t really come naturally to most of us (humility is a much more praised trait compared to pride) but celebrating success is a very important part of achieving your goals. We take the time to berate ourselves when we slip up so we might as well take on the same approach and praise ourselves when we do achieve key milestones.
Be sure to set yourself specific outcomes and milestones that you can achieve at various moments in your resolution. Don’t be too ambitious – set goals that are actually attainable. If your plan is longer term… pick key points, targets or behaviours to achieve and learn to celebrate you. Be your own champion!
5.) Plan for the long-haul
Resolutions and goals are great to achieve but it’s likely you will want this behaviour that led to you finally attaining your goals to last. One way to help you to do this is by making sure your ‘path to success’ is actually enjoyable. Don’t try a crash diet that leaves you miserable – play the long game and make smaller changes that you can stick to long-term. If you’re unhappy all the way to achieving your goals, chances are that you’ll throw that ‘good behaviour’ right out of the window immediately you achieve your goals.
Additionally, it might be worth re-thinking your goals at this stage. Is your goal actually that tangible thing at the end which you think it is (e.g. losing a lot of weight) or is the true goal actually being able to live a healthier lifestyle? Arguably, the latter is more important… and better still, the latter can lead to the former which means you get two for the price of one so it’s definitely worth evaluating what the real goals is and focusing on that instead.
6.) Choose the right time
Look, achieving (or even setting) a new year’s resolution doesn’t have to be right now. You don’t have to follow the status-quo that’s advertised in every magazine on the newstand. In fact, I’d say the opposite. Think deeply about what you want and what the demands of your day-to-day life are and plan your goals around that.
One thing I will say though is that you do eventually need to pick a specific date to start – no ‘I’ll do it next week…”. The more specific you are, the more likely you are to actually get started with achieving your resolutions.
Even if you don’t like the concept of resolutions, everyone needs to make active choices to achieve a goal in life, New Year’s Eve just gives us all the opportunity to think outside a normal routine, which can jar you into thinking differently. Don’t try to be somebody you’re not, embrace yourself and be the best version of who you really are… after all that’s what a meaningful resolution should be, right?
7.) Share and learn together
Find your support system; after all, it takes a village. Similar to the point of surrounding yourself by positive influences, go that extra bit further and find people who are looking to achieve the same things as you. These could be your closest friends and families or indeed new friends you’ve met trying to achieve your goals.
It’s always nice to know what other people are doing to achieve their goals (why bother re-inventing the wheel). Just remember to steer clear of two types of people when you create these support networks – negative people (Mr or Mrs Moans-a-lot) and over-achievers (those people who just always seem to find everything so easy) – neither of these kinds of people will help motivate you the right way towards achieving your goals!
That said, if you need a nice moan, have any questions or just want a general chat, feel free to drop me an email. I’d be more than happy to trade ‘war stories’ with you as we set towards our journeys of becoming an even better version of ourselves… (and in my case, perhaps several pounds lighter in weight). 🙂