Maintaining New Year’s Resolutions

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By Monique van der Walt

Let’s face it, there should be no such thing as New Year’s Resolutions because bettering yourself is a constant process, everyday, every week and making changes in your life that will make a better You.

But there is something about the New Year on the calendar that inspires us as human beings to make more of a concerted effort to change. We jump at the opportunity to start over, or at least try to get rid of a bad habit we have formed.

stick_resolutionBut the reality of the situation is that as the weeks progress and the pressure of the year begins to build up, our resolutions fall flat. How can we stop this from happening? There is no magic cure or fairy-tale wand to wave, but there are a few pretty simple things to keep in your mind to help your resolutions stick.

Here are 3 of them.

#1: Talk about it.

It is easier to stick to your resolution decisions when you are accountable and have people watching. By talking about the changes you are making, you will be making it more difficult for yourself to lapse back into your bad habit. When you bring something into the light, it loses its power over you.

#2: Don’t be too hard on yourself.

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We all make mistakes. For example, if one of your resolutions is to eat healthier, but in the middle of a busy work day you eat take-away food for lunch, then, because you think you have already failed, you eat badly again for dinner.  You see, beating yourself up and telling yourself you have already failed only leads to further failure. Being too hard on yourself will demotivate you and your ambition for a healthier you will slowly (or quickly) deteriorate. The trick to not making the same mistake, and failing over and over again, is stop beating yourself up, accept your failure, forgive yourself and recommit yourself to your resolution and move forward.

#3: Affirm your progress and success.

positivity_proton_resolutionInstead of harping on your failures and how you have let yourself down, focus on how you have progressed and what you have so far accomplished. Positivity breeds motivation. Try positive affirmations and constantly reminding yourself of your successes and progress. You could also keep a success diary or “progress journal” to help you keep the flow of motivation going throughout the year.

These three tips are straight-forward and common-sense, but they are also easily forgotten. So remember “easy does it”, plant the seed in your mind, let it grow throughout the year referring back to it, and it will be easier to keep up your resolution permanently for a throughout-the-year improvement.