If you have a New Year’s resolution for 2020, no matter how big or small, it may be hard to keep after a couple of weeks.
People often give something up for the New Year or take on something new, and both have their challenges.
If you are finding it difficult to motivate yourself, we have TWELVE great pieces of advice to help you push on and become the person you want to be in 2020.
Now if you’re brimming with New Year’s resolution ideas, we have already published some fantastic articles on keeping them, which you can find at the bottom of this page just in case these 12 brand new tips for keeping your resolutions aren’t enough!
- Be realistic
- Create a schedule
- Use intelligent free apps
- Make a ‘Pro’s’ and ‘Con’s’ list
- Involve others
- Reward yourself
- Track progress
- Create a different voice
- Take one day at a time
- Take some time out
- Delay your resolution
- Don’t let a setback stop you
One of the biggest mistakes that people make when choosing a New Year’s resolution is to make life changing alterations to their daily routine and habits, something that never works because the shock to the system is simply too big. This means you may end up needing help for your New Year’s resolution.
A better approach to choosing what your resolution should be, would be a smaller and more manageable change.
For example, instead of telling yourself that you’re going to give up drinking forever…a common one on New Year’s Day (when you’re suffering a terrible hangover!)…try to cut out drinking during the week. This is a much easier task and can be achieved without drastically altering your habits.
Just like a school timetable, creating a schedule is one of the best ways to ensure you stick to your resolution if you are taking something up.
A schedule, or timetable, with the times you plan to go for a run, attend a class or sit down to read, will help you to see the bigger picture while offering a visual reminder to stick to the plan.
Make sure to print out your schedule and put it somewhere that you have to look every day.
There are a huge number of free apps that can help you stick to your task at hand, so make use of modern technology.
Trello is a great scheduling app which can help to organise your tasks if you’re aiming to be more organised in 2019, while fitness apps such as Daily Burn will help you keep to an exercise plan.
There are also apps such as MyFitnessPal which will help you understand nutrition in a more comprehensive way. These are some great apps which will also provide you with tips so you stick to your New Year’s resolution.
Make a ‘pro’s’ and ‘con’s’ list for keeping and breaking your resolution and put it somewhere that you’re forced to look at every day.
This will help you maintain a positive attitude if you’re struggling as the ‘pro’s’ will remind you why you’re changing your habits in the first place, while the ‘con’s’ will remind you of what will happen if you give up.
Complete self motivation is one of the hardest things to do and if you have a big goal in mind for your resolution, it may be difficult without the support of family and friends.
That is why it’s important to to tell people about what you want to achieve.
You’ll be amazed at the help you’ll receive if you ask because many people take a lot of pleasure in helping people achieve their goals.
For every week that you stick to your goal, set up little rewards for yourself.
This will help you go for smaller and short-term gains as a lot of resolutions are aimed at long term improvements, which may not be realised for a few weeks or months.
This can be anything from a day off, taking yourself to the cinema, or your favourite pastime.
Making a note of your progress, no matter how big or small, is critical for keeping motivated with your New Year’s resolution.
At the end of the day, if you don’t really pay attention to your improvements and measure them, why would you carry on?
That’s why you should try to keep an eye on the things that you are aiming to make better.
For example, if you’re giving up alcohol for January, take note of how you feel after waking up. Alcohol is proven to have a really negative impact on sleeping, so a better night’s rest is a benefit to note down.
Professor Steven Peters, author of ‘The Chimp Paradox’, has helped a huge number of world class athletes in winning gold at the olympics, all without doing a day of work in the gym.
His philosophy is simple, he says that people should try to separate the voices in their head into different categories.
The one that tells you to stay in bed for another 5, 10, 15 minutes, tells you to buy the chocolate and drink one more drink, is the chimp part of the human (hence the name of the book).
While the real ‘you’ is the one that wants to get out of bed, get fit and live a more healthy lifestyle.
If you can learn to recognise and attribute the lazy voice to a part of you that is basic and emotional, you can start to ignore it more effectively.
For a MUCH better and more comprehensive explanation, get yourself a copy here!
It’s one of the biggest cliches around, but it’s one of the most important things if you have a goal in mind for 2019.
If you think to yourself that you have to run 150k in a month, you’re not going to attempt it if you have run about 150m in 2018…
However, doing a 5k run every day is obviously much easier to consider.
The same logic should be applied if you are giving something up.
Don’t think you’re giving it up forever, simply think that you’re giving it up for the day and then when you wake up the next day, just think the same thing.
Before you know it, six months will have passed!
If you’re finding your new resolution too much, then don’t be afraid to take time out: 1 day, 2 days, 3 days or maybe even a week (or month). Go back through this list and apply some of the other tips like chatting to friends or creating a schedule, and then come back to it.
Sometimes you can get a whole new perspective when you just take a bit of time out to think about it and apply some changes. You’ll come back refreshed to the idea and maybe brimming with new approaches to the resolution.
Don’t be afraid to simply delay your resolution. That means, put it on hold for now. You may have encountered a setback (covered next) or found bits of the resolution too challenging.
Whatever the reason, don’t be afraid to just simply say you cannot do it now. That doesn’t make you a failure or even mean the resolution won’t get done, it’s simply saying to yourself that it’s too much right now and you need to rethink. Perhaps apply some of the tips in the earlier paragraphs of this piece, take a month off and then see how you go.
Inevitably, you will suffer a setback and this could be due to anything.
From an injury sustained when trying to get fit, or an accidental alcoholic drink, it’s likely you’ll break your resolution at some point, but that’s absolutely fine as long as you recognise it.
There is no point trying to be 100% perfect all of the time so don’t beat yourself up if you slip or fall down!