I hope you all had fun over the holidays and are looking forward to 2017 (because let’s face it, it can’t be any worse than 2016, am I right?)
I’m here to talk about Resolutions since we are right on the cusp of the new year.
Great time to make some decisions about what you want in the new year! But there’s a problem…
No one really keeps them and if you are someone who does, then congratulations, you are the first person in history! *throws a ticker-tape parade in your honour*
So why do they suck?
Simple, they are promises we make to ourselves and as such will always be the easiest promises to break because people rarely put themselves first. But on a deeper note, they never stick because they are vague, overstretching or maybe even stupid.
How to create resolutions you will keep
Here are some tips on making resolutions that you might actually keep!
1 – Avoid Vague – No more vague resolutions. It’s not enough to say “#1 I will lose weight” – what is that?? You could get your leg bitten off by a shark, that would drop some weight – is that what you mean? No? Then stop being vague!
So maybe you do want to lose weight, then state what that weight is. “I want to lose 10lbs” makes more sense than “I want to lose weight” Now you have a less vague resolution and even a measurable goal.
2 – Make a Plan – Like all goals, if you want to succeed you need to include a plan of action. So, if we are sticking with the weight loss example, how are you going to do that? Maybe cutting out sugar and going for a walk every day? This way your resolution would be “I will lose 10lbs by cutting out refined sugar from my diet and walking 30mins a day” That’s a bit clearer than “I will lose weight”
3 – Don’t overstretch – Keep it simple, don’t create more resolutions than you can handle. It is so easy to say “I’ll give myself 10 resolutions”. That might be too many, especially if you normally can’t keep up with them. So try just making 5 or 3, especially if the resolutions themselves are quite stretching.
4 – Avoid stupidity – Don’t make stupid resolutions, ones that are in competition with other people. Resolutions should be practical and maintainable. If you need to spend £10k on equipment to achieve the resolution you just created or are trying to outdo someone else’s resolutions, then that’s stupid.
5 – Accountability – It’s great coming up with resolutions and having the idea of what the results will look like. However reality will smack you in the face soon enough when you realise that all that ‘sass and song’ you raced up with is fading behind the amount of effort and willpower you need and suddenly it’s not as appealing.
Making changes is never easy, so you need a way to push through when things get tough. So how can you make yourself accountable? Maybe start jogging and do it with a friend, that way you are both accountable to each other. Think about what you can do for accountability for each resolution.
6 – Reward – Next throw in a reward. Yup, we are all trained dogs salivating at the ring of a bell… but seriously, a reward for good behaviour works wonders on animals, children and even us adults. So plan accordingly.
7 – Understand the science – Okay one thing I see every year at the office I work in, is women starting “diets” to lose weight. They follow some crazy-ass ‘new fad’ and (if they are lucky) they lose weight. They then immediately revert to their old diet and lack of exercise and boom, that weight comes straight back…and then they seem surprised!
Science is pretty clear on this, if you put on weight from eating crap (like too much sugar, fat and processed foods) then change for a short time and lose weight, when you revert back to old habits why wouldn’t that weight return? Believe me, if I could do 1000 sit ups and have the results stick, I would be over the moon – but that isn’t how it works, if I want the results I have to keep doing what works.
The same goes for a new task or breaking a bad habit. You need to create HABIT and in doing so lay down new neural pathways in the brain. This is how you reduce cravings, break habits and form new ones. It takes time and effort and you will probably fuck up and have to start again, that’s fine… just keep at it. But once you get the results you want, stick with what works, don’t revert back to bad habits.
8 – Remember them – I know I’m not the only person to sometimes forget I even had a resolution or a goal or something I was meant to be doing. The trick is to write them down and then pin them on the wall – somewhere you will see them. Keep a copy with you too – like on your phone or in the front of your diary. The more you see them the likelier you are to actually work on them.
9 – Learn from mistakes – So what went wrong last year? Maybe you had too many resolutions. Maybe you overstretched yourself or didn’t keep yourself accountable. Maybe you forgot them by March and only remembered them in October. Figure out what happened to stop you last year and make sure you don’t do that again.
So, are you making any resolutions? Share them in the comments!
With the idea of resolutions forefront with most people, who is going to join the awesome 85k Writing Challenge? It is where writers accept the challenge to write 85K words in 90 days (that’s just under 1000 words a day). It starts on January 1 and runs until the end of March.
I did it last year and loved it. I totally recommend it for writers – sign up at 85k90.com. Start the year with a challenge!
I’ll be back next Friday with another post!
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NB: Picture purchased from GraphicStock.com (supporting other creatives).