The New Year always brings an optimistic sense of hope. To hope to make this one better than the last, to actually run a marathon or that this will be the year I actually find ‘the one’. Most of the stereotypical resolutions we make in January fall by the wayside by March. In fact, it’s said that 22% of resolutions fail within a week and about 50% after just 3 months. So why are so many of us failing at resolutions when, surely, it can’t be that hard? What does it take to set a resolution you can actually achieve?
Having perspective on your goals for the year is key. Many of us set popular goals without considering how they relate to us and our current situation. The age-old SMART principle is a goal setting guideline which many of us have probably come across at work, but it can be the perfect way to set our own, personal goals. Specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time sensitive. By taking these principles into account, we can break our goals down into achievements we will actually reach.
Take some time to reflect on the past year, be proud of what you achieved and look at where you could have improved. Resolution which require sudden, major changes to our lifestyle are most likely to end in failure. By thinking smartly and setting achievable goals, we should start to see more of our targets reached.
We’ve taken a look at some of the more popular life goals and how you can make sure you hit them.
- Getting Fitter in 2019
Probably the most popular resolution each year. Gym memberships spike each January and drop off again by March. So, when thinking about your own fitness goals, make sure they are tailored to you. If you haven’t run much in the past, then entering a marathon straight away might not be realistic. The NHS Couch to 5K programme is a great way to get up and start running bit by bit. Or if you’re looking for friendly, cheap runs around the country, check out some of the Run Through events. Their Chase the Moon event is a great short distance run during the full moon.
- Eating Healthier
With eating ‘clean’ being one of the most used hashtags on social media at the moment, there is huge pressure to be eating healthier. But it’s not all about posting your healthy brunch of the week on Instagram. Coming up with sustainable, long term eating habits is vital if this resolution is to make any difference at all.
With the temptation of hundreds of places to eat near work, lunchtime at work is an area many of us trip up when it comes to eating healthier. Why not try making your own lunches during the week? Not only does it guarantee that you eat healthier but it’s also much cheaper than regularly eating out. Try making your own lunch from Monday to Thursday and celebrating with a lunch out on Friday.
- Learn a New Skill
Getting to the end of the year knowing you have learnt a new skill is a fantastic feeling. The key here is to make sure it’s not something completely outrageous. Consider something you have always wanted to do. Learn to paint, draw or carve wood. You can also look to adapt or improve your current skillset. If you’re a keen swimmer, why not work on perfecting your tumble turn, or jump into a wetsuit and try out open water swimming? Our top tip: try something you can get equipment for easily.
- Kick a Bad Habit
We’re all guilty of a bad habit or two. Whether it be smoking or drinking too much or pulling out of those races you entered because you didn’t train enough. Kicking these bad habits doesn’t always mean going cold turkey. To make the changes stick, it can be better to make smaller steps towards getting rid of them. If it’s smoking or drinking you want to cut down on, try cutting down the days of the week you allow yourself to indulge. If you want to fulfil your commitments, reward yourself with a shopping trip once you’ve hit a milestone.
With Christmas comes a feeling of goodwill and gratefulness, and many of us look to volunteering to give something back. There is nothing more valuable you can give than your time, but it can be difficult due to the constraints of work and other commitments. Picking a cause close to your heart can give you the extra incentive needed to get involved. Try starting small, offering a couple hours of your time every month before you do something a little more regular.
Having goals and targets for your year ahead is a great way to stay motivated and ensure that by next December, you can look back at 2019 with pride. Think carefully about your resolutions for the year. Make sure the goals are achievable and relevant to you. Where you can, consider making resolutions with a friend to give you that extra bit of motivation. 2019 could be the year you really start to make a difference!