It's January, we're all still bloated from Christmas and regretting our life choices over the past week which can only mean one thing: it's time to make our New Year's resolutions.
That awful post-Christmas guilt suddenly makes us want to be better people and we resolve that this year we WILL do those things we've wanted to do for years.
Whether it's eating more healthily, going to the gym, quitting smoking or promising yourself that you will take that trip of a lifetime, the first week of the year can be an exciting time fresh with new hope for the future.
But if you don't stick to your promises, the second week can be a bit more guilt-laden.
So how do we avoid falling off the wagon at the first hurdle? How do we manage to stick to our goals until we see results?
Have you made a special New Year's resolution this year?
1. Don't Stretch Yourself
Make only one resolution. Your chances of success are greater when you channel energy into changing just one aspect of your behavior.
2. Take Time To Reflect
"Don’t wait until New Year’s Eve to think about your resolution and instead take some time out a few days before and reflect upon what you really want to achieve."
3. Don't Repeat The Past
"Avoid previous resolutions. Deciding to revisit a past resolution sets you up for frustration and disappointment."
4. Don't Follow The Crowd
Don’t run with the crowd and go with the usual resolutions. Instead think about what you really want out of life.
5. Create Mini Goals
Break your goal into a series of steps, focusing on creating sub-goals that are concrete, measurable and time-based.
6. Get Support
Tell your friends and family about your goals. You're more likely to get support and want to avoid failure.
7. Tick Of Your Achievements
Regularly remind yourself of the benefits associated with achieving your goals by creating a checklist of how life would be better once you obtain your aim.
8. Treat Yourself
Give yourself a small reward whenever you achieve a sub-goal, thus maintaining motivation and a sense of progress.
9. Keep A Record
Make your plans and progress concrete by keeping a handwritten journal, completing a computer spreadsheet or covering a notice board with graphs or pictures.
10. Expect To Fail
Expect to revert to your old habits from time to time. Treat any failure as a temporary setback rather than a reason to give up altogether.