How to Make New Year's Resolutions You Can Stick To
When it comes to making New Year's Resolutions, we tend to go into January with high expectations for ourselves. Within a few weeks, we realise they are either too difficult to achieve or that we can't be bothered.
We want you to know that not all resolutions are made to be broken; you just need to make them the right way. That's where we can help so grab your notepad and pen and let's get started.
Want to move fast? Jump to the right section below.
- Be Realistic
- Set Your Goal
- Plan How To Get There
- Set Rewards
- Track How You're Doing
- Don't Let Small Failures Put You Down
- Keep Trying
1. Be Realistic
Step one is to remember to be realistic. When you start to consider what you would like to achieve this year, make sure to think about whether the goal is something you feel like you can reach. That doesn't mean don't push yourself, you definitely should, but if your goal is to lose weight, remember this is a goal that will take time and can't be done all at once.
2. Set Your Goal
Now you have an idea of what you are after doing, you need to set your end goal. Remember you aren't going to reach this goal overnight, and it's okay for it to be a relatively tough goal. You might surprise yourself and reach it, or you might revise it at some point because its a little too hard. Either way, stay positive about what you think you can reach.
One thing to remember when setting your goal is if there are any personal issues to consider. For example, are you on any medication that can make it slightly difficult to lose weight or any allergies that need to be considered with healthier eating?
Some goal ideas could be:
- Lose 1 stone.
- Be able to lift 10 kgs.
- To run/cycle 10 km without being out of breath.
- Do a Marathon.
- Eat healthier.
3. Plan How To Get There
This step is the most important when it comes to making New Year's resolutions, because now you need to plan how it is you are going to reach that goal.
First, you need a time frame; do you want to reach your goal in a month, 3 months, a year? Again, make it realistic. For example, you will not lose 1 stone in 1 month, as much as many of us might want to.
Next, split your main goal into a number of little goals that will fit across your time frame, for example, you could add an extra 1 kg every week to your weight until you can lift 10 kgs. Having small weekly goals makes the big goal look less daunting and much more achievable. Smaller goals also help as, at the end of each week, you will feel empowered to carry on to the next week and so on.
4. Set Rewards
Rewards are so important when it comes to keeping your New Year's resolutions. You need to have a reason to reach that weekly or monthly goal, and rewarding yourself is a good way to push yourself a little harder. Once you have your weekly plan, jot down what you will reward yourself with if you reach your goal.
It could be that you buy something you have wanted for a while, or cook your favourite meal. Something that makes you feel rewarded for working hard and something that pushes you on throughout the week.
You could also plan what you will do should you find yourself struggling. You might get up one morning and think you don't want to go to the gym today. In this case, you could ring a friend for a confidence boost, or promise yourself an extra little reward at the end of the day if you do go. You could even sit down with your plan and remind yourself why you started.
Being prepared is a really important part of making those New Year's resolutions. No matter what your goal, you can always make it easier by preparing. Make your lunch the night before, or batch cook for the week if your goals are weight-related. This helps you make sure you know what you are eating ahead of time instead of getting to the meal and making something unhealthy because you are tired or rushing.
If your goal is related to going to the gym, pack your gym bag the night before planning to go to the gym and put it with your stuff or in your car. Or put your workout clothes out on the side for a morning workout to encourage you to get up and get started straight away.
Preparing in ways like this can make you feel so much more optimistic when trying to reach those goals. Things like preparing the night before can sometimes mean you get extra time in bed, or you aren't rushing around, and it can do wonders for your mood and outlook towards reaching that goal.
6. Track How You're Doing
Always keep track of how you are progressing. By doing this, you can look back and see how far you have come from starting your goal to reaching it. This is massively helpful for when you are feeling discouraged. By seeing that you are working hard and you have improved can really help push you forwards.
There are tons of ways to track your progress, from planners to apps, and you can download them and get started. They are mostly self-explanatory, but if you can't find one you like, make your own. That way you can set them out in your own style, and maybe even have a little fun making it look nice, you are going to be looking at it a lot after all.
Or you can try ours, available to download at the bottom of the page!
7. Don't Let Small Failures Put You Down
The most important point, which we have mentioned briefly, is don't let little failures get you down. No one is perfect, and if you slip up one day, take a cheat day, or don't make that small target, it's not the end of the world.
Remind yourself why you are doing this, pick yourself back up and get back to it as best you can. You can always adapt that next milestone to account for this; your plan is not set in stone. And always remember, any progress is good progress!
8. Keep Trying
Finally, keep trying! Keep pushing yourself to reach that end goal. Even if you get to the end of your timeframe and haven't quite made it, you are still closer than you were before. If you're finding it difficult, get someone with a similar goal to help you, or join a group online of people with the same target and encourage each other.
So if you are thinking of making New Year's resolutions you can stick to, there is no better time to start then now. You can do it!
Try our downloadable goal planner here:
If you are wanting help making a workout plan, we have more information here!
Before beginning any exercise or nutrition program, consult your physician, doctor or other professional. This is especially important for individuals over the age of 35 or persons with pre-existing health problems. Exercise.co.uk assumes no responsibility for personal injury or property damage sustained using our advice.
If you experience dizziness, nausea, chest pain, or any other abnormal symptoms, stop the workout at once and consult a physician or doctor immediately.