As is usual at the turn of the year, as we welcome in a new year our thoughts turn to starting afresh, making changes to our lives that we would like to see. There is a long list of favourite new years resolutions such as finding a new job, eating healthier, exercising more, drinking less etc but how do we stick to them or do we just accept that our new years resolutions will fall by the wayside come February (if they even last that long!)
So, I thought I would take a look at some of the more popular new years resolutions and see how we could perhaps take steps to make it easier to keep our resolutions.
What are the main new years resolutions that we have:
1) Exercise More
2) Lose Weight
3) Quit smoking
4) Change Job
5) Read More
These are a few examples and I’ll take each of these in turn, BUT, remember what I’ll say about each of these resolutions could easily be transferred and adapted to your own resolutions so don’t skip any of them thinking they don’t relate!
1) Exercise More
It must be one of the favourites every year, I always hear people saying I must exercise more (and this usually goes hand in hand with number 2 – lose weight especially after the festive season!) So how do you stick to your exercise goals?
The number one thing is to set realistic goals. You must realistically know that going to the gym twice a week for a month will not turn you into an Adonis. It takes years of consistent work to get close to how some of these people look, it’s got to, or we would all look like that! So, be realistic and set manageable goals.
Do not expect to be able to run a marathon by the end of January, on the other hand, getting out and using an App such as the couch to 5K program is realistic and you should be able to see progress quickly and get to that 5K goal in nine weeks if you follow the program.
I would recommend NOT joining a gym in the first week of January! It will be full of people all with the same idea, it will be busier than it is usually and you will get frustrated and very quickly get demotivated. I would recommend, preparing yourself for going to the gym first, maybe going for a daily walk which you can progressively increase in distance. One of the best forms of exercise is a good walk so start there and steadily increase. Once you feel the benefits then move on to the couch to 5K program, it’s entirely up to you. Don’t overdo it, don’t beat yourself up if you miss a day, but don’t give up either. Getting fitter is a goal both for today but it is something that will benefit you in the years to come so stick with it! The two words to remember here are PROGRESS and CONSISTENCY. Keep pushing yourself and be consistent with your exercise routine.
I have another article on exercising at home which you may find interesting over HERE.
2) Lose Weight
This very much goes hand in hand with the first resolution. If you are planning on losing weight then one of the first paths is to do more exercise. This is completely understandable. At the end of the day – it is an undeniable fact that weight loss will occur if the calories used over the course of a day is more than the calories consumed.
If you plan on losing weight then the options relate to either reducing the calories consumed or increasing the calories expended, or a combination of the two. Similar to exercising more, the easier the transition the easier it will be to achieve. Going from eating 2,500 calories a day to eating 1,000 will not be a long term solution and you will find that it is nearly impossible and VERY difficult to maintain. However, moving from 2,500 calories a day to 2,000 calories a day is probably easily done by replacing some of the foods with healthier options. IF you combine this with increasing the amounts of exercise you do then it very quickly adds up and you will see positive results. Remember, PROGRESS and CONSISTENCY are key here too. In addition, having realistic goals is a step to success. A safe recommendation for weight loss is 1lb to 2lb per week so set a realistic target and go for it.
3) Quit Smoking
This can be very difficult to achieve but if you set your mind to it, will be one of the best decisions you make for the good of your health and for those around you too!
Again key here is to be realistic with your goals. I know people who have woken up one morning and just quit like that, stopped completely. That is SO difficult so if you don’t want go that route then set achievable goals and stick to them. If you normally have a cigarette with a morning coffee then try changing your routine so that you are not able to have that cigarette. Set a target of how many you could realistically cut out of your routine, and slowly cut the numbers down week by week. Having smaller goals is more achievable and therefore you are more likely to stick to them. If you smoke 20 a day then even cutting out one a day the first week, then two a day the second week and so on. Once again the key is PROGRESS and CONSISTENCY.
4) Change Jobs
If you are currently unhappy at your place of work then a new year may bring the decision to start afresh and move. There is always a flurry of activity at job agencies at the start of a year. The combination of people looking for something new and companies implementing their plans for the year always creates opportunities. Top tips here would be to consistently check online job boards for opportunities. A lot of these job websites will allow you to set up alerts so you get a regular update emailed to you with relevant job opportunities. Linked-In is a really good place to ensure that you get noticed so make sure you have a full up to date profile set up with relevant experience of the roles you would be interested in. Another option would be to be proactive, create a list of realistic companies you would be keen to work with and send a targeted cover letter along with an up to date copy of your CV to their HR department. Key here is research, so spend time finding out about each company and ensure that your cover letter is appropriate for the company. This goes for applying for jobs you find on the websites too. Don’t send off your CV with no cover letter and certainly not without tailoring your CV to the role you are applying for. Its maybe hard work initially but once you get the experience of changing your CV it will get easier and will reap rewards later.
5) Read More
One of the main reasons people don’t read more is the lack of time. There is always something else to occupy our free time! Routine is key here, so try to set aside both a time and a space for reading. Whether it’s for an hour before bed or during a lunch break, then pencil that time in. In addition, having a cozy corner where you can sit comfortably and read without disturbance is a great start. Joining a book club is also a great idea as it will increase your reading and the variety of book you read. Another simple point is to have the book with you, there are always times of the day when you find yourself just sitting for a few minutes – these times tends to get eaten up by social media on the phone these days but if you have a book with you then this is preferable, more enjoyable and more rewarding! One other recommendation is to vary the types of books you read, mix them up a bit and you will benefit. I recall going through a particular authors entire back catalogue one time and by the fifth book found myself getting fed up with noticeable similarities and eventually gave up!
So that’s a quick look at some of the popular new years resolutions and ways to ensure you stick with them. I would be really keen to hear from you with any of your own resolutions and how you are going about sticking to them, as always get in touch on the comments below or email em at email@example.com. I would, as ever, love to hear from you.
Good luck with your new years resolutions and take care,