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How To Stay Focused On Your New Year's Resolutions

Did you set New Year’s resolutions? 

Are you still managing to stick to them or have you hit a rough patch?

It can be hard to stick to New Year’s resolutions. There can be plenty of temptation around to start snacking on the wrong foods, finding it hard to avoid stress, missing your gym class, or struggling with giving up an old habit. 

In this post we are going to give you some practical tips to help you achieve the goals you’ve set for yourself this year. 

Why New Year’s Resolutions Fail 

The intention to make changes to your lifestyle, or to achieve a certain goal, is exciting. However, it’s all too easy to break your New Year’s resolutions and think it’s not worth carrying on. 

It may be that you choose an unhealthy meal while out at a restaurant, had a cigarette, or missed your gym class and now your whole plan is out the window. 

Psychologist Prof Richard Wiseman, from the University of Hertfordshire, carried out a study. He took 5,000 people who made New Year’s resolutions and found that it was those with a "fatalistic attitude" who were less likely to succeed.

Prof Richard said, "Failure is the main thing that stops people. If on day one of their diet, they raid the biscuit tin, they think 'that's it' and give up. But persistence is the key. Start again the next day." 

Learn From Past New Year’s Resolution Failures 

Take the new year as a time to reflect upon the last 12 months. If you made New Year’s resolutions last year and they failed, ask yourself why and how you can do things differently. 

Perhaps your goal was to get fitter, but you found it hard to do on your own, then joining a support group could be the encouragement you need. 

Maybe you found lifting weights boring, then perhaps it would be better for you to sign up to a couple of fitness classes and enjoy working out with others. 

New Year’s Resolutions vs Goals 

It’s easy to enter the New Year thinking that you want to change all the bad habits in your life. 

However, it’s difficult to make massive changes within a short space of time. Simply trying to change everything is too overwhelming. Start by choosing one or two goals and break these down into manageable steps. Ask yourself how you are going to achieve your end goal. Write down an action plan, using bullet points to guide you. 

When choosing your goals, focus on the changes that will have the biggest impact on your life. This will boost your confidence to go on and make other changes at a later time. 

Celebrate the milestones as you achieve your goals, this will increase your self-confidence. Just remember, if you’re trying to lose weight, it's not the best idea to treat yourself to the cake that you’ve been longing for, or missing your next gym class to go to the pub with your friends. 

Sticking to New Year’s Resolutions 

  1. Keep a New Year’s journal to help you stay on track. Scribble down your successes and challenges. Remind yourself why you committed to making the changes in your life. Make a note of why you struggled, to remind you of what to do differently next time. 
  2. It may help to keep pictures of what you want to achieve. Perhaps you want to train to hike that impossibly big mountain. Pin a pic of it to your fridge. If you’re saving for a holiday, put a snap of the destination up on your wall. The images will help you to stay motivated and inspired. 
  3. Popping motivational quotes around your home can increase the likelihood of you sticking to your New Year’s resolutions. Pop one or two in your bathroom and while you're brushing your teeth you can be encouraged. 
  4. Join a support group or rally family and friends to join you. There are tons of groups out there for people to join, whether it’s online or at a centre. Whatever you’re aiming for, doing it with others can help you stay on track as you share your successes and struggles.
  5. After a few weeks or months, revisit your goals. Ask yourself if there is anything you need to change or add to further your progress. 

Wrapping It Up

There you have it, some top tips to help you stay on track and motivated with your New Year’s resolutions. 

The most important thing to remember is to get back on board if you slip, keep track of your progress for encouragement, and renew your goals. 

If you’d like extra support then check out our post on ‘5 Top Fitness Books For Women’ to keep you inspired. 

You got this! 

Written by Rebecca Benfield

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