We are very almost at the end of the year, and what a year it has been. It has certainly been one that none of us could have ever expected. However, 2021 is looking like we may be able to get back to some sort of normality, at some point anyway.
At this time of year, many people are thinking about what they can do over the next twelve months to change their lives for the better. However, we are often so focused on waiting for the clock to strike midnight on January 1st and doing things that we do not like ot stopping things that we do like, that the whole point of what resolutions are about gets lost.
Because we usually swing between being too hard on ourselves and not being tough enough, most of us end up dropping them within a few short weeks.
However, there are some things that you can do to make sure next year is the year where you stick to your resolutions and make positive changes to your life, and this is what we are going to look at in this article.
Put a plan into place
“Don’t make resolutions without an action plan. The secret to success is right in your hands” – J Allen Shaw.
Traditionally, the busiest time of year for gyms is January. Once February rolls around, all the initial enthusiasm eventually comes to an end as people give up their aim of getting fit/losing weight/being healthier. This is because while they have a resolution, they do not have a proper plan to see it through to fruition.
If you are looking to start getting fit in the new year, make a plan NOW. Do it before you sign the forms tying you into an expensive membership. Gyms might not even be the thing for you – you might find that like Dermot Gallagher who went on to be a referee, soccer is more your bag. Look for a sport or a fitness routine that works for you and that you would enjoy before you sign on the dotted line. You also need to know the timescale and commitment involved to be able to reach your end goal.
Maybe fitness is not your resolution for the new year. However, the point still stands: make a plan. Making plans gives you the opportunity to set goals, and without an end goal, you have nothing to aim for or to work towards, and at some point, you will end up veering off track.
Invest in a planner or a diary and chart your progress and achievements as you reach them. This will keep you motivated and keep you going.
Make the right resolutions
Are you going to make a resolution because you think you should or someone else has told you to? Be truthful, if you do not do it for the right reasons, chances are you will not be able to stick to it. This could be something you are trying to alter or accept. You need to do it for yourself and not for anyone else. This can have a profound effect on your morale and have a real impact on your chances of success.
Remember: you do not need to do something simply because other people do it. Do not go along with the trend and follow everyone else. If it does not work for you, it does not work for you. Instead, look for something that will work for you and help you in the long run. Or even just forget making resolutions – there is no point in making them just for the sake of doing so.
Give yourself a break
It can be hard to make big changes. Especially if you are looking for changes which are going to make a full overhaul of your life. Keep this in mind as you begin your new journey. Change is not always simple, and it can take a while to introduce new behavior – 66 days. This is how long scientists say it takes before anything becomes a habit, and you do it automatically.
So do not be too harsh on yourself if you stumble or lose momentum. We are just people, not robots, and sometimes we make mistakes. And when it comes to creating new habits and making new improvements, chances are that it will take a while until you stop having to worry about what you are doing and it is part of your routine.
On the other hand, celebrate those achievements, no matter how small, and give yourself the drive to keep going.
Don’t try and do too much
Of course, there might be the desire to give your lifestyle a full overhaul, but is that really a smart move?
The odds are if you are trying to do too much at once, you are not going to be able to concentrate on giving it your all. Why not start with a single adjustment? Incorporate that in to your lifestyle, and when you are satisfied with the changes, focus on something different.
It is about developing new life habits, not just for January, and taking too much at once might have the reverse effect of what you are trying to do. So take things slowly, day after day, and focus on smaller improvements. For example, if you want to revise your lifestyle and start working out why not concentrate on one area first like your diet before you add exercise to the mix. This way, you can develop a better, healthier body to work out, trusting that you can also keep up with your lifestyle changes when you visit the gym.
Follow these tips and make 2021 the year you stick to your resolutions. Good luck!