7 tips for sticking with your new year's resolutions

Gracewell  |  February 8, 2017
At the start of the new year many of us make resolutions, whether it's to give up smoking, lose weight, save more money, refrain from drinking too much - the list is endless.

At the start of the new year many of us make resolutions, whether it's to give up smoking, lose weight, save more money, refrain from drinking too much - the list is endless.

And yet, as we near the beginning of February, it's likely that a number of people are already beginning to struggle with sticking to their plans. 

If this is you, fear not. There are a number of simple tips that you can follow to stay on top of your resolutions and make positive changes to your life in 2017. They include:

1. Follow simple steps
Sometimes it is effective to break your resolution down into smaller, more manageable steps, the NHS explained. For example, if your resolution is to go vegetarian, start by having two or three meatless days a week to facilitate a smoother transition to your new diet. Or, if you're hoping to train for a marathon, start by making small goals such as running a certain amount each week, increasing that amount as you become fitter and more comfortable. In essence, if you approach your resolutions in a gradual way you may find it less overwhelming, and you may be more likely to succeed.

2. Make your goal specific
According to The Telegraph, it helps to make your goals as specific as possible, and avoid general ambitions that are easy to deviate from. The source offered the example of saving money: Instead of deciding to save money, take steps to make it achievable. This includes deciding on the amount you want to reach, opening a savings account, and then setting aside a certain amount each week.

3. Choose a new resolution
As detailed by The Mirror, one important rule when making a new year's resolution is to pick one that is different from the one you choose the year before, particularly if you were unsuccessful in your endeavour. This is because a new goal will be more likely to keep you focused, excited and determined.

4. Record your progress
One way to keep your eye on the prize is to record your progress, either in a diary and on a spreadsheet, and ensure that you check off each goal that you attain, the NHS explained. So for example, if your goal is to exercise more, set a target of the amount of times you want to work out each week, checking it off if you meet the goal.

There are many ways to stay on top of your resolutions.There are many ways to stay on top of your resolutions.

5. Gear it toward something exciting
One way to stay really focused on your goal is to make the end prize an exciting one, The Telegraph advised. So, for example, if you are looking to lose weight, perhaps set a goal of the amount you want to lose before your summer holiday. Or if you want to save more money, try saving so that you can take your family on holiday. 

6. Get support
Try making a resolution that you can work on with a family member of friend, as you can both lean on each other for support. If you are unable to do this, ensure that you at least tell your family and friends about your plans, the NHS stated. The more people who know, the less likely that you'll want to break the promise and risk embarrassment. 

7. Be realistic
Ensure that your goals are manageable so you don't overwhelm yourself. The Telegraph also advised setting just one or two goals: If you set multiple goals at one time you'll find yourself less able to focus your full energy and attention to each one. 

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