We are nearly a month into the New Year and I can guarantee that many of you have made, broken and given up on New Year’s resolutions. If you have stuck to your resolution and are doing well, then well done you, keep up the good work and stop reading this article.
…….Are you gone….?
That means that if you are still reading this then either you haven’t made one or like most people, you have thrown in the towel. It is probable that this is because you have set your targets too high.
We are often told to aim for the stars and for a few people this tactic might work. But for most people, the standard aspirations of: go to the gym, eat more healthily, give up smoking or drinking etc don’t work out too well. They go in too enthusiastically, spending lots of time money and effort into running every day, preparing better food and so on. And if they stuck with it they would be fine and better off. But there is the inevitable falter. We all do it. A moment’s weakness, a slight stumble and we are back were we started and now we feel bad because of it.
So what is the solution? If like most people you are ultra-motivated for the first few days or weeks and then slowly revert to your previous unmotivated state you should undertake the following actions: Remind yourself of what benefits await you. Think about the beveled torso and muscular thighs you will obtain if you stick with the diet and exercise plan. Or think about your new found ability to grate cheese without breaking a sweat or collapsing in a panting fit after giving up smoking. Maybe if your goal is to write for half an hour everyday you might want to dream about what you are going to do with your millions of pounds after writing the next biggest erotica since 50 shades of grey.
Maybe you could try lowering your aspirations or even starting out less enthusiastically. I know this sounds counter intuitive but think about it: You aren’t going to become an Olympic sprinter after a month of running, it won’t go well for you. You won’t see a vast improvement straight away, and due to your over enthusiasm you will be running too much and won’t let your muscles rest. Then you start to ache and when you haven’t turned into Usain Bolt fast enough you say “ohh well, I tried” sink back into the nest you’ve built in your sofa and stuff your mouth with crisps.
Another thing you might consider is rather than having a new year’s resolution, to just have a resolution every time you start or give up something. Many people wait for a couple of months and try to start fresh when it comes to January and then give up all too quickly. If you start in early December or even November then you have a head start on your friends and family and you may have already gotten into your new lifestyle by the time Christmas comes around and you have no need to binge. It also shows you that you can resist temptation when you tell your family “No I shall not consume alcohol/eat chocolate/smoke/insult grandma.” And impress them with your restraint. Or even better, make a resolution any time in the year. New Year’s resolutions have never worked for me, but I have successfully started an exercise routine, a better diet, a better work ethic and many other little improvements here and there in the last year by simply correcting any habits or non-habits that I have that I think may improve my life. I haven’t waited for New Year’s, my birthday, St George’s day, Pancake day or any other notable day to carry out these tasks. The worst thing that you can do is tell yourself that you can start tomorrow, or next week etc… because then it is just as simple to justify not doing it as when you put it off in the first place.
Alternatively you could save yourself the hassle of all of this “bettering myself” malarkey and just carry on as you are, you’re pretty awesome anyway.