HAppy New year!
New Year, New Me
Happy New Year!
Did you set any New Year’s Resolutions this year? Perhaps you decided to take up exercise, eat healthier, do Dry January, stop smoking? How are your resolutions going?
Every year I used to set resolutions like this, and by the end of January (maybe the start of February if I was lucky!) I’d “given up”. Or, in my words at the time, I’d “failed”. Then I’d get disappointed in myself, beat myself up and end up gorging on a load of chocolate feeling sorry for myself. Sound familiar? How can we make those resolutions stick?
Firstly, let’s make sure we’re setting realistic goals for ourselves. In more “normal” times, I go to the gym most days a week. In January, I see so many new faces at the gym, people who have signed up as part of their resolutions. I see them going every single day for 2 weeks and then suddenly I never see them again. Why? Some of them may be setting unrealistic goals. It is probably unrealistic for someone who doesn’t exercise regularly to suddenly start exercising intensely every single day. Eventually the fatigue and pain from overworking the body hits, and they lose their motivation. When setting New Year’s Resolutions, make sure they’re realistic and achievable. It’s often easier to focus on small changes and letting them grow. So, for example, if you never do any exercise and you now want to start, maybe commit to exercising once a week to start with. After a while, move to twice a week, then three times a week. Start small, let it build from there.
Secondly, do we actually want to achieve the goals we’ve set? Society tells us we should exercise, eat healthy, avoid too much alcohol, quit smoking, etc. Now as a wellbeing charity, we would recommend a lot of these, but if we don’t actually want the change for ourselves, the motivation to work towards the goal probably won’t be there. So how can we approach this differently? Set goals that are based on your values. What do you really value in life? What is really important to you? What are you passionate about? What do you want for your life? This is about you, not society or anyone else. Focusing more on our values than goals can be helpful, here’s a short video on our YouTube channel that discusses this idea a bit more: https://youtu.be/DIcVSAsuQgo
Thirdly, accept that it’s ok if you don’t achieve your goals. It’s fine if you can’t be bothered to go for a walk tomorrow when you said you’d walk everyday, or you order a Chinese takeaway on the weekend when you said you’d quit takeaways. It doesn’t mean you’re a failure, it means you’re human. Try not to be so hard on yourself. But, if it’s something you still really want to do, a long-term change you really want to make, try again tomorrow.
I hope this blog helps you when considering your resolutions.
By Bethan Jones
Course Wellbeing Practitioner