Viva La Resolution – Seven tips on making and keeping New Year resolutions

New Year ResolutionHappy new year! January, the head of the year, is a traditional time to make resolutions. But how do good intentions get lost by the wayside? It’s a well-known fact that gym memberships soar in January only to tail off by March. Are resolutions worth making? And, if so, how can we help ourselves keep them? Here are our seven tips for a resolute 2015…

 

 

  1. Do make resolutions. Our brains don’t work in a linear way, so defining our goals gives them shape and form. Research has found that people who write down their goals achieve them more effectively than those who keep them in their head.
  1. Time travel. Write a note to yourself in the present tense about how it might feel to have kept your resolution for a year, for instance: “I’ve been walking to work for a year, I feel fitter and have more energy.” Put the note somewhere you’ll see it, and picture this future you. Sports people use visualisation techniques to get themselves in a winning frame of mind. So, why not visualise yourself jogging down the street, or practising yoga before work?
  1.  Focus on the positive. It is better to look at the positive benefits of your resolution rather than the deprivation effect. So, rather than focus on what you are giving up, focus on what you will gain. Saying no to something often makes us crave it more, so instead of saying:“I’ll never snack on biscuits”, say “I am enjoying healthy snacks, and sometimes biscuits, too”.
  1.  Be realistic. Setting realistic goals will give you a sense of achievement, while unrealistic goals will leave you feeling like you’ve failed – even if you’ve made great progress. Instead of saying “I’ll go jogging three times a week”, try saying: “I’m jogging once a week, and any more than that is a bonus”.
  1. Expect to backslide. Making a change to lifelong behaviour is not going to happen overnight. It may take several tries, as well as finding new approaches if the ones you are using are not working. Relapse is natural. The most important thing is to use it as an information-gathering exercise. Ask: what was the trigger for this setback, and what can I learn from it?
  1.  Be kind to yourself (Part I). Talk to yourself as if you are a kind adult speaking to a small child. If resolutions slip, don’t say “You’re useless”; “This proves you can’t change”; or “You might as well give up now”. If your resolution slips, just pick it up again, all the while saying something encouraging to yourself. Come on, you are only human!
  1. Be kind to yourself (Part II). Taking care of ourselves can come low on our priorities when life is full of looking after others. But taking time out helps make responsibilities more manageable. Do new year resolutions always have to be punishing? What about resolving to do something you actually like doing? As a friend said: “The most successful new year resolution I ever made was: ‘I am having more saunas’.”

We’d love to hear about your inspiring goals and resolutions for 2015 so do leave us a comment. Happy 2015 everyone!

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30 Responses to Viva La Resolution – Seven tips on making and keeping New Year resolutions
  1. Ewan
    January 14, 2013 | 5:03 pm

    My resolution is to be the BEST Dad to my baby girl when she is born in March, and part of that will involve looking after her while sending her Mum off to a relaxing day at the Spa!

  2. Erin
    January 14, 2013 | 6:31 pm

    My resolution is to ‘stay with’ personal and professional relationships, even when I feel like retreating or walking away. Despair won’t get me anywhere, but trying to come up with creative solutions just might!

  3. Oliver Dowding
    January 14, 2013 | 9:28 pm

    2013?
    1. Not to make the same mistakes 2012.
    2. Positivity were the natural temptation might normally be negativity.
    3. Goals that are realistic: anything outrageous is highly unlikely to be achieved, therefore pointless, and likely create a self-critical feeling.
    4. Spread good messages as widely as possible.
    5. Try to persuade those who would not naturally think so that we actually have a world full of abundance simply needs sharing better than wasting less.
    6. Create a lighter eco-footprint this year than last year.
    7. Read more books than I did in 2012!

  4. Mike Jempson
    January 15, 2013 | 12:13 am

    Resolution for 2013:

    To sit up straight more often when watching TV

  5. Nicole Beebee
    January 15, 2013 | 5:14 pm

    To ask mysef am are part of the problem or part of the soloution before I get involved in peoples problems, if the answer is no I am stepping away!

    To do more for charity, money is tight so I am thinking of becoming a blood donor, a big step as I have a total blood phobia. Yikes.

    To get off facebook and meet up with people in real life rather than “virtually”

    Happy New Year all and good luck with your 2013 goals.

  6. Vicky
    January 15, 2013 | 7:26 pm

    To stop making plans! My focus is to work at my goals but without holding much attachment to outcomes! When my dreams are ‘released’ like this, I find there is little cause for disappointment or anxiety. The UNIVERSE responds to my dreams, goals and heart’s desires & I am much more relaxed, knowing that everything is happening as it should, at just the right time! Even when it doesn’t work out exactly as I would like….life always brings me to wherever I was meant to be! Life is much more FUN for me this way…..I feel energised, positive & much more compassionate (as less stressed!) and best of all…..the abundant universe always provides exactly what I need-as long as I remember to trust!

  7. Rachael
    January 18, 2013 | 12:29 pm

    My resolution is to stop trying to be Superwoman. Trying to do it all and not accepting help when struggling helps no-one. Being kinder to myself is a big part of this resolution.

  8. Elisabeth
    January 19, 2013 | 8:49 am

    Last year I discovered the joy of singing in a choir.

    It really gets the endorphins going, like dancing.

    So this year, I want to SING MORE!

  9. sarah churcher-owen
    January 20, 2013 | 11:43 am

    To do my best to trust life, whilst being in the middle of the longest dark night of the soul i have ever known.

  10. Kerstin
    January 20, 2013 | 7:49 pm

    To invite some more fun, creativity and wellness days into my life. Not only occasionally but frequently!

  11. Laura
    January 21, 2013 | 5:43 pm

    This year I’m going to learn to climb well, FINALLY learn Spanish formally and enter more competitions… 🙂

  12. Maria
    January 22, 2013 | 2:26 pm

    1. Relax and breathe: more yoga, better breathing and more spa days.
    2. Slow cooking: with creative, healthier recipes. I’m also growing my own herbs.
    3. More time to be creative: at least 30 minutes a day I’ll be working on something mine.
    4. Screen detox: try and spend less time in front of a sceen, more time reading a great book.

  13. Caroline
    January 22, 2013 | 2:26 pm

    This year im going to spend some time looking after me.
    I have 2 young sons with disabilities which have kept me very busy for the last 5 years which have taken its toll mentally and physically.
    So at last i have some time for me to relax and recover. 🙂

  14. Suzannah
    January 22, 2013 | 2:28 pm

    My goal for 2013 is have a quieter life which includes having at least 1 night a fortnight having time for me.

  15. Agatha
    January 22, 2013 | 2:47 pm

    This year I am going to (try!) to be proactive in addressing my stress levels and low moods by making sure I have nice lunches every day at work, using my evenings better to fit in the things I enjoy, phoning friends, going to the gym and trying to re-learn how to relax. I would like to end 2013 with less tense shoulders!

  16. Mandy Hawkins
    January 22, 2013 | 2:58 pm

    My resolution is to respect myself enough to treat myself regularly

  17. Mollie PJ
    January 22, 2013 | 4:01 pm

    To treat my body as a temple! (I’ve already given up smoking! Which has been really hard) x

  18. Kelly Webb
    January 22, 2013 | 4:38 pm

    My resolution is to to get work done when I get given it so that I have time to relax on the weekends. This would lower my stress levels and give me some chill out time.

  19. Becky
    January 22, 2013 | 5:23 pm

    My resolution is to spend quality time with my family and friends because life really is too short!!

  20. Kerry
    January 22, 2013 | 8:06 pm

    I didn’t have any set resolutions, but when i read through these posts, I felt moved and inspired. I decided i’d like to be more selfless, more appreciative of the moment, spend more time with my family, be more positive about people. Good luck all, enjoy your little baby, Ewan – and I hope you get your well-deserved ‘me’ time Caroline : ) And so my New Year’s resolutions are set.

  21. Graeme
    January 22, 2013 | 8:07 pm

    I was resolving to write a good new years resolution in order to win a free spa day! But having read them all if Caroline 22/1/2013 2:26pm doesnt get it then something is very wrong with the world.

    Perhaps random acts of kindness should be my new years resolution?

  22. Rose P
    January 22, 2013 | 9:15 pm

    My resolution is to be kinder to myself….and remember I too need to be nurtured as much as I nurture others. More pampering Holistic therapies, self development physically/mentally and spiritually and to eat more fruit and vegatables. When I give more to myself I can give more to others and pass on what I have learnt.

  23. Tracey
    January 22, 2013 | 9:54 pm

    My new years resolution is to learn to cope with Fibromyalgia by cleansing my body and freeing my mind of the anxiety I have been feeling. I am hoping that by reducing my stress that I will be able to free myself of the daily pains caused by my condition.

  24. Alex
    January 23, 2013 | 1:36 pm

    New Year 2013 resolutions:
    1. To continue my escape from the smoking trap (especially when drinking)
    2. To do yoga of some form every other day
    3. To stop criticising and learn to love myself.

  25. Heather
    January 23, 2013 | 3:18 pm

    This year I resolve to be kinder to myself. I know how important it is to nurture friendships, and in recent times it has all been work, work, work! 2013 will see me enjoying the company of my friends, and I know I will feel happier and healthier for it!

  26. Stacey
    January 23, 2013 | 4:16 pm

    The simple art of. . . s l o w i n g d o w n ! life need not be so hectic, its time to appreciate what is taken for granted and notice the smaller things that pass us by 🙂

  27. Tania Griffiths
    January 24, 2013 | 1:38 pm

    Count my blessings before I get out of bed each day (this one is lovely and when it takes me a good 5 minutes to get through the list, I realise how lucky I am).

    Turn the damn TV OFF!

  28. Dan
    January 25, 2013 | 3:46 pm

    I shall be cycling to University and work as much as possible to do my bit for the environment and improve my fitness! Maybe as reward for my hard work, I shall treat myself to a spa day at the Relaxation Centre though I will probably treat my girlfriend instead!

  29. Sarah
    February 1, 2013 | 2:18 pm

    Thank you so much to everyone who entered our January competition. Your resolutions were all very inspiring…thank you for sharing.

    We are delighted to announce that we have chosen Caroline (January 22, 2013 | 2:26 pm) as the winner of the competition, and a deserved recipient of a free Spa day at The Relaxation Centre.

    • Graeme
      February 1, 2013 | 2:24 pm

      Not knowing Caroline, but from her post, a deserving winner. All is well in the world.