How to set a New Years Resolution you will actually keep this year!

Every year Millions of us set new years resolutions but how many of will actually keep them?

I will lose weight this year

In fact, this Christmas a friend of mine bought me a fab calendar and the first page made me chuckle!

I’ve been starting a diet on New Years Day for 5 years straight now!

How many of us can relate to that? Every year I have some kind of resolution about being organised and actually using a diary, or going digital on a diary and all that jazz but by end of Feb if I have even written more than birthdays in to the blooming thing I am doing well!

So why is it that we make these resolutions and fail to stick to them?

Is it in part due to the very broad and unspecific nature of the resolutions we make? Is it perhaps that we make the resolution but don’t plan a way to achieve it? Is it that we are gluten for punishment and beat ourselves up when the inevitable failures happen? Is it perhaps that we want to set a resolution on the 1st Jan and see the results appear on the 2nd?

Maybe it is a little of it all?

So I am going to give you some simple hints that will help you to create a New Years Resolution that you can stick to this year!

The Telegraph reported that the top 5 New years resolutions of 2017 were:

  1. Exercise more
  2. Lose weight
  3. To eat healthier
  4. To have an active approach to health
  5. To take up a new hobby

So let us take a look at these.

Exercise more, lose weight, eat healthier….If this might be any of your resolutions let me ask you this questions.

Why have you not done it already?

That may sound really harsh but its not meant to be, the question is posed to be an exploration for you because only when you understand the reasons why you haven’t done it already you can PLAN to make it happen and overcome these existing barriers.

For example, at the FitER Health Club we often hear

I don’t have the time to fit it in!

So if timing and priority are your issues already what is different just by saying your new years resolution is to do it?

A better resolution might be to say:

I will go to the gym every Monday, Wednesday and Saturday because my health is a priority. 

What you have done is taken a really vague resolution to exercise more or lose weight or be healthier and turned it into an action. Something that you can measure and evaluate, something that by taking action will result in the goal you want.

Make it an action

Or what about this

I will cook 4 home cooked meals a week 

Again this is an action rather than a generic statement like “eat healthier”. If you don’t eat heathy now because you get take away or packaged foods then an action like this will force you to PLAN to cook, to consider the ingredients you need. At home we achieve this by having a weekly meal planner, simply because if I don’t get things out of the freezer in advance I would also eat junk most likely especially when we get home late, its been a long day and there is nothing easily available to eat!

Plan it and monitor it

By setting actions you are changing HABITS and it is the change in habits that will lead to the results you seek. To create a habit you have to be consistent, you have to repeat the action again and again, you will need a plan and monitor your progress.  You also have to consider that what you are doing is a priority.

Planning can be simple, it could be taking food out of the freezer every morning or having a weekly meal plan, it could be carrying your gym kit in the car and going on your way home, it could be setting a gym date with a friend so you are less likely to blow it off, it could be having a reward once you have reached a certain milestone like 25 gym sessions or 12 home cooked meals. It could be that you plan to walk every lunchtime instead of sitting in the break room or that you join a sports club.

Once you have a plan work on monitoring your progress. If you have a weight loss goal then make it specific with a date that is achievable. Saying I want to lose weight is very unhelpful. Saying you want to lose 1 stone by your Holiday in July is not only specific, goal orientated but it is achievable in the time scale. Track your progress in a diary or chart it. Throw a stone in a jar for every gym session you do or day you walk at lunchtime.

And consider it all a priority!

Why a Priority?

So the idea of priority came to me whilst watching my daughter swimming, she has a 45 minute lesson once a week and is in the top group so she is pretty awesome (yes biased and totally in awe of my bubba), anyway, I love these 45 minutes, I try and get a spot at the front of the railings and I sit and watch her and nothing else for 45 minutes, they are perhaps some of the most enjoyable 45 minutes of the week. I am also so impressed and proud of her, she swims so gracefully and its a really calming time for me too.

Anyway, a few weeks ago whilst watching her swim my hubby text me, and I replied, I can not remember what it was about so certainly not important. It was a brief reply and I thought nothing of it.

At the end of her lesson my daughter and I were driving home and I told her how much I loved to watch her swim and her reply was like a knife to the heart, it was not a reply with malice or unkindness, just cold heartedly matter of fact. Are you ready for what she said!

“I saw you, you were watching your phone”

In that brief moment of replying to a text she had looked up at me from the pool and saw her Mumma looking at her phone. Of course I explained I had just text her Daddy and that it was just a moment and then I asked “do you think I spend your lesson on my phone” and her reply was “well thats what all the other mums and dads do!” Hold back the tears Suzanne hold them back!

My heart sank that my daughter thought my phone was a priority over her!

And then I watched!

The following week I watched, at the swimming pool, in coffee shops, Christmas shopping. My daughter was right, our phones have become our priority over the things that matter more. Watching your child swimming, talking to a friend over coffee, “fitting” in your new years resolution.

So I want to challenge you, take a moment to think about how many times you have said any of the following:

“I don’t have time”

“Maybe later”

“Not yet”

“I’ll do it tomorrow”

Now I want you to consider how you might feel if you said this instead?

“It’s not a priority”

When you get home from work and put off the gym rather than saying I’ll do it tomorrow say

“I’m got going to the gym, my health is not a priority”

And then spend the evening sat in front of the TV or flicking through facebook.

When your child asks you to play with them (this is a hard punch in the face I am super sorry) and you say you don’t have time because you are cleaning or on facebook change it to say

“I don’t have time for you, you are not a priority”

I know I know, thats a smack in the guts but I am so grateful to my daughter because she made me realise that it is our very own perception of what matters and what doesn’t that can significantly affect our ability to succeed in our new years resolutions, can affect the relationships that we have with others and can certainly affect the quality of our life or memories.

So lets make your new years resolution count this year

  1. Turn your resolution into an action
  2. Plan for it
  3. Monitor it
  4. Make it a priority

Have a healthy and happy 2018 everyone

If you need extra support in achieving your new years resolution feel free to contact us about personal health coaching which can be done in person or at distance or checkout our FitERin6  heath living plan which starts in January 2018.

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