By ALYCIA LIM
Resolutions can be tough. We make them at the end of every year and hope that by some miracle, we’ll check all the boxes by December the following year.
If that doesn’t happen (which often is the case), we recycle those resolutions for the next year. Eventually, we get to a stage where we wonder if it’s worth making any resolutions at all, because what’s the point if we’re going to repeat them year after year?
The truth is, resolutions aren’t a bad thing. The new year can be the best time to recalibrate and set new targets.
The challenge, is sticking to them. But if you know the right hacks, it’s actually pretty straightforward.
Be realistic, be specific
No one knows you better than yourself, so forget about what others have to say and set realistic resolutions that make sense to you.
If you’ve just started your first job, don’t put, “become a millionaire” as one of your resolutions. Sure, it’s possible and there’s no harm in dreaming big, but instead of making vague goals with no action plan, set a goal that will actually help you move towards that big picture.
Make "lose 10kg" your resolution instead of "look like Ryan Gosling".
This leads to the second part: be specific. If you want to get rich, you can start by making it a resolution to put aside 30% of your salary each month, and set up a standing instruction with the bank.
When December comes along, you’ll see the fruit of your labour.
Start small, dream big. Set realistic expectations and you can achieve great things.
Make it a daily habit
Resolutions are easiest if it’s already a part of your everyday life. However, the initial change in lifestyle is often the most challenging.
Think of it as fuelling your car. You go to the petrol station once every few days, even though it’s not the most pleasant thing to do. When you first start driving, this may seem like a chore, but after driving for a few years, this ‘inconvenience’ just becomes a part of life.
If your resolution is to build a six pack by the end of the year, you have to put an action plan in place and make it part of your daily routine. This means allocating a slot in your busy schedule, instead of waiting for “free time” to go to the gym.
Initially, it will be tough dragging yourself to the gym after a long day of work, but if you do it consistently, you’ll find yourself looking forward to gym time.
Cut yourself some slack
Ironic, since resolutions are meant for you to push yourself. But we’re human and we have limits. Once something becomes stressful, it is natural for us to give up.
If you smoke a pack of cigarettes a day and your resolution is to stop smoking this year, congratulations!
Just don’t worry if you can’t go cold turkey like your uncle did.
Instead of smoking a pack a day, reduce the quantity, and maybe try vaping as an alternative, progressing to nicotine patches, and you’ll eventually scoot free from any substances.
Going cold turkey can be scary!
Tell your friends
Resolutions should never be a secret if you’re serious about them. Telling people you trust keeps you accountable to your words. To take this a step further, you can do regular check-ins, to make sure everyone is on track to achieving their resolutions.
Believe in yourself
Finally, be sure to stay positive. Ask any successful person and they will tell you their secret to success is to believe they can. Surround yourself with people who are a positive influence to your lifestyle. If you believe you can, you’re already half way there.
Keeping these simple tips in mind, you should be well on your way to a better, healthier, and happier you. Wishing you an amazing year ahead!