What better time than January to set yourself some goals for the year ahead? Good intentions are rife and motivation levels are peaked – it’s easy to soak up some of that residual positivity!
Read on for some ideas, inspiration and informative advice to help you not only make but keep those New Year resolutions.
Whether you had the best or worst year in 2018, we can learn from the good and bad we’ve experienced. A great way to stay positive when setting goals for the year ahead is to reflect on what went well for you last year, what didn’t and what you would change in hindsight. This helps you to understand what motivations led to your actions, and how you can keep check on these. That’s why we’ve gone for new year improved me, and not new me – your past makes you the person you are today!
As humans we’re designed to learn from experience, so reflection is a really useful tool to be mindful of the past and use that to improve the future. It can also help us to move on from the not-so-good experiences, giving us a bit of closure. There’s plenty of great apps to help you start practising some mindful self-help if you’re new to this way of thinking!
- Plan Ahead
As the saying goes, Rome wasn’t built in a day! If you’re planning to make big progress in the year ahead it’s important that you give yourself enough time to do so. New Year’s resolutions aren’t about going full-steam ahead for one month then losing focus from February onwards – they’re about challenging yourself to achieve something, or somethings, by the end of the year. So good news, you’ve got a whole year to reach your goal – not just one month!
Breaking your goal into steps and focusing on reaching each milestone, rather than the end result, is a great way to stay focused and keep on track. Whether they’re weekly, monthly or quarterly goals – make sure you can measure them and track your progress. You guessed it – there’s an app for that!
- Don’t be Unrealistic!
It’s easy to sit and think of all the things we would like to do in life, jot them down and reason with ourselves that they’re wholly achievable in one year! The truth is, the more goals you set yourself and the more ambitious they are, the less likely you are to succeed.
Crash diets are the prime example of this. So many of us forbid ourselves entire food groups, opt for liquid diets or even begin a starvation fast in a bid to lose ten pounds in ten seconds! Aside from the obvious disadvantages of this, it makes achieving the goal (weight loss) unrealistic in the long-term.
Instead, a better approach would be to adapt a healthier ongoing lifestyle – it isn’t about a diet, it’s about a continuing lifestyle that just becomes the norm to enable you to be the best version of yourself. We encourage a Real Food Diet free from refined sugars, grain and harmful fats.
- Reward Yourself
We’ve talked about motivation and we’ve talked about reaching milestones – one great way to incorporate the two is to reward yourself when each of your sub-goals is met. That’s because humans are wired to be motivated by rewards.
In a nut shell, treating yourself for doing something good trains your brain to want to continue that behaviour and seek further reward. On the other hand, punishing yourself for any slip-ups is not a good move. If you do veer off track pick yourself up, dust yourself off and keep going!
Remember, treating yourself is not all about spending money or eating sweet treats. Anything that gives you pleasure will act as a reward – whether that’s going for a nap, enjoying the great outdoors, cooking, having a duvet day or anything else you enjoy!
- Think Outside the Box
Here’s ten of the most popular New Year resolutions, notice the top three are directly related to physical health – namely in the name of weight loss. That’s great if you’re trying to get fitter or shed a few extra pounds. But some of us follow these goals blindly each year, when they may not necessarily be what we really want out of life.
Try thinking outside of the box instead of going along with the crowd. Coming up with resolutions personal to you will mean you’re more likely to succeed – after all, it’s you that will be setting out to achieve them! One good way to get your creative cap on is to avoid previous year’s resolutions. If you’ve tried and failed in the past, reattempting them could be frustrating and demotivating.
Some great and intuitive resolutions we’ve seen so far this January include…
- Look after my mental health
- Connect more with nature
- Play and move more
- Spend less time on social media
- A New Year’s Resolution is for Life, not just for after Christmas!
Last but not least, remember that you want to take something positive away from your journey to achieve your goals. Whether you find the whole process utterly traumatising or a total breeze – learn from your experience!
Good habits should last a life time and working hard for something you’d really benefit from is a great way to build good habits! So forget fad diets, back-breaking boot camps and giving up all your worldly pleasures – choose a resolution that’ll make you happy and benefit your life in the long-term!
All information provided on our website and within our articles is simply information, opinion, anecdotal thoughts and experiences to provide you with the tools to thrive.
It is not intended to treat or diagnose symptoms and is definitely not intended to be misconstrued for medical advice. We always advise you seek the advice of a trained professional when implementing any changes to your lifestyle and dietary habits.
We do however recommend seeking the services of a trained professional who questions the conventional wisdom to enable you to become the best version of yourself.