I hope it's not too late to wish you all a happy New Year.
I've left it a little while after the beginning of the year to write about my feelings on New Year's resolutions. This is because the vast majority of you will have already given up. With the best intentions, many of us of look back at our over-indulgence during the festive period and vow to become more healthy in the New Year. In fact improving our health is way higher up the list than improving our work-life balance. Already 66% will have broken their resolutions, by the end of March over 80% will have gone back to their old ways. Of course what we need to ask ourselves is why do people fail so easily? What is needed for the change to succeed?
Perhaps one of the first difficulties to take into account is the pressure. We make decisions about altering our lives at the end of a highly pressurised time...we are meant to enjoy the festive period, spend it with family and friends, exchange gifts, attend parties. The hype around this period is enough to cause anyone stress. We then realise how much weight we've gained, money we've spent...and decide that "everything is going to change". So by yesterday-"Blue Monday", another marketing hype to make us feel totally depressed and spend money, we've failed again.
So here's my top 6 tips for succeeding:
1. Timing-why do this at New Year? I had 2 wants for 2017, to learn conversational French, so I began this in November and to improve my fitness...more about this in a while.
2. Support-this doesn't just have to be close family and friends, use social media, join a group of like minded people. I've recently found a person who will compliment my use of apps to learn French by giving me adhoc lessons. And last night I attended the 1st week out of 9, following the Coach to 5K course at my local running club-now I've told all of you I need to keep it up. See, I've garnered support via real people and social media.
3. Motivation-you need to know why. If you don't understand your internal 'why' then you will never succeed. I want to improve my fitness after a recent stay in hospital. I know it has shocked me how ill I felt, so I have my internal 'why'.
4.Visualisation-can you see yourself at the end of this. Change isn't easy and you have to be able to visualise your goal.
5. Plan a party-don't wait until the end, give yourself treats on the way. For me it's a couple of days skiing with a friend to utilise my new improvement in fitness and perhaps a few words of French!
6. Gratitude-this may be a strange one for some, be grateful that you can make a change. Some people don't have the choice. Don't take it for granted.
So, if you have given up already or perhaps not even started, then NOW is a good time to workout your internal 'why' and make those positive changes.