In the synonymous words of Nina Simone, ‘It’s a new dawn, it’s a new day’. Well we have a whole new year to play with and with this come new goals and ambitions. We all want to better ourselves and when better to start than with a New Year. Whether it is losing weight, exercising more or cutting back on the alcohol, no matter how big or small we all make New Year’s Resolutions.
Ambition, drive and motivation is pumping through our veins come January 1st. We are all out running or at the gym, eating a diet consisting solely of white meat, salads and nuts, hydrated only by water. Then comes week two of January, we begin to recognise that healthy living is no walk in the park, tired, sore and 7 days of eating cardboard takes its toll.
A few takeaways later and a couple of glasses of wine and the whiff of healthy living you were so gunning for January 1st has dissipated into nothing more than a flirtatious glance at what could have been the new and improved you.
Aviva’s 2011 New Year, New You report found the vast majority of New Year’s Resolutions to have died a sudden and uneventful death at some point in January, with 80% of people admitting that past attempts at making positive changes to their lifestyle had faltered by February 1st.
So how can we put an end to this continual boom bust cycle of putting ourselves on a pedestal only to knock ourselves off before we have even gotten our balance up there? The team here at Drewberry are tired of failed resolutions and have compiled the ‘7 Steps to Resolution Success’, it doesn’t have to be a new year, a goal is a goal and to see a goal through to the end we need a bit of grit and determination and a few key ingredients.
1. What is my plan of action?
You are destined for failure if you conjure up your goal and simply cross your fingers and hope for the best. Baby steps, for most of us mere mortals just setting a goal is not enough, we need to plan it out; we need to be able to see that we are progressing to be motivated to continue. Plan your goal with key milestones, hurdles you might face and incentivise yourself with small treats along the way.
2. Why was I doing this again?
Why is your goal important? If you have to think about this question your goal will soon be forgotten, motivation matters and if the goal is not important to you it is far too easy to let it slide.
3. What is my Plan B?
Let’s face it for the vast majority of us life is just a series of failures which we pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off and learn from. The key is not in not falling off but picking yourself up and having the courage and determination to get back on the horse when you do fall.
4. Where is my support?
Share your goals with friends and family, talk to them about what you want to achieve and make them aware of your progress, the good and the bad. It is those closest to you who will provide you with words of wisdom and positive thought when you need it most.
5. Rome wasn’t built in a day.
Slow down, your goals have to be reasonable, many of us get over-zealous come the New Year and expect to go from couch potato to marathon man in a week. For real personal growth, slow and steady is the answer, have reasonable expectations and momentum will naturally build over time.
6. Who am I letting down?
It is easy to let the voices in your head take over and pawn you off with excuses of why your goal is a waste of time but what if you had to report to someone else with your progress? Whether a friend or family member, have them track your progress and keep you focused on your goal, it is far more difficult to pawn them off with petty excuses.
7. Have I got the symptoms of Unsuccessfulitis?
A truly terrible disease, too many of us have goals and even start achieving them and then unsuccessfulitis rears its ugly head. Fear sets in, what if I actually achieve my goal! Sometimes we are so attached to who we are and life as we know it we can unconsciously sabotage ourselves for the fear of change. While it can be scary to go beyond our comfort zone, it is necessary to become the new you, the more you step out of your comfort zone the more liberating it becomes.
So there we have it, although the statistics are stacking up against us, if we follow these simple steps and work together our goals can be achieved. For more information on tips to healthier living and ways to achieve your goals visit the NHS Change 4 Life website.
It is all about the money
If motivation alone is not enough to keep you on track how about the added incentive of saving some pennies, should you quit smoking and have a term assurance plan, staying smoke free for 12 months and beyond could see your life insurance premiums drop by as much as 30%. If you are a fitness junky and have a personal health insurance plan by declaring your healthy lifestyle to the insurers you could save on your premiums there to.
Whatever your goals here’s to a very prosperous 2011.