Most of us will start January with the most resolute of intentions – but by the time month two rolls around, our resolves are long gone, leaving our February’s full of frustration!
But don’t give up just yet; we’ve got the perfect solution to keeping your resolution! Simple Skincare Psychologist, Dr Chris Bundy offers these three easy tips to making your new year’s resolution stick.
1. When setting a New Year’s resolution, keep it SMART
Set Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely (SMART) resolutions. If you try to make too big a change, too fast or without help it is likely to end in tears. A small achievement will encourage you to take on bigger challenges, but a big failure will just eat away at your confidence. Make a plan that you are pretty certain you can stick to and then plan another after that. Set small monthly goals that are all manageable so at the end of six months you will have achieved 6 new things successfully.
2. Tell a friend Research shows that if you make your goals public you are more likely to implement that plan. We all have an ‘inner voice’, often it is very critical and negative and we come to believe what we hear ourselves say. Make it work for you not against you. This means if you hear yourself say: “I really want exercise twice a week, but I’m not sure if I could keep up with it” these self-doubts will be communicated to others. Better to say: “This is an exciting new opportunity that I know I can rise to, even if I need some encouragement it at first”. Also good to tell someone you trust to help you so you stick to your plan.
3. Play the long game! Set a series of short-term goals (the first week), mid-term goals (a month) and long-terms goals (over a year) to make up your resolution. Be clear about what is achievable in those timescales; don’t be tempted to try to change everything overnight, it won’t happen. Stick to the SMART goals (above) and stay focused on the things you have been able to do and ignore the things you haven’t. Don’t be tempted to make big changes just because it’s the new year, it’s likely after a break you will be feeling anxious about what you haven’t done, but remember to celebrate what you have achieved.