So you start the new year with great intentions, you know you want/need to do something, maybe get fit, stop stressing, be nicer or lose a few pounds. Whatever it is you wake up and think this is the year you'll make it happen.
So how is your resolution going so far?
I was struck by this article I read today in the guardian where 78% of people failed in their resolution. So what can you do to make sure you're in the 22% that succeed? Well here's my top 5 tips.
1) Start with one thing. Trying to change to many things in your life at once is a recipe for disaster and one thing generally snowballs into others so pick something important and stick to that one for now.
2) Set a goal, what is it you want? If you want to lose weight, how much do you want to lose? If you're stopping smoking how much money will you have and what will you do with it? Having a goal gives you something tangible to work towards.
3) Bring that goal to life. What will it be like? What will you be able to do? How will you feel? This is a way of checking the goal to make sure you'd be happy when you've achieved it. Think about the negatives too and work around them. This way they won't stand in your way of success. So for example if you're going to lose weight you'll need to buy new clothes, maybe you know you can't afford it. Ok so you could decide to sell the old things to make money for the new stuff. Doing this means that excuses doesn't hold back your progress.
4) Break the goal down into simple steps you can manage. What are you going to do each day/week etc which will lead to your goal.
5) Rewards. Decide what you can do along the way to celebrate your achievements. Have a range of rewards from something small for those little successes to larger things to celebrate amazing achievements. Maybe get your family, friends or kids involved so they have a way of supporting you. When kids are little they suggest using a reward chart so they can see what they've done and have a sense of pride. You need the same pride so think about how you can reward yourself along the way.
Finally, if you do slip up along the way take each one as just that. Realise how far you've come, don't drown in guilt or entertain the brain's 'oh well I might as well give up' messages. Get back on it and keep going.
And that's it. Good luck with your amazing successes in 2013.
Hope this helps
Want more help to quit smoking? I'm running a small group session in Leeds on Sunday 10th Feb and you can reserve a place for only £20. More info can be found in the Products & Services, Quit smoking page.