Ah, the start of a new year! For me, the turning into a new year signifies a clean break and a chance to reset. Sure, I look back and reflect on the previous year, but I don’t dwell on it. Any missed goals or disappoints remain part of the year gone and I use them more as motivation for the year ahead. Despite starting back at work for most people, January tends to be the easiest month for keeping new year’s resolutions. The vision is clear in the mind and the motivation is high. Soon, though, work gets busier and life becomes hectic. Motivation starts to wain and that resolution can start to become a chore or a challenge. What can you do to fight the urge of giving up?
Below are some tips on how to keep the fire burning through all twelve months to help you keep your new year’s resolutions. I’ll also discuss my new year’s resolutions for 2020 and how I plan to keep them.
Check Your New Year’s Resolutions:
I’m a big advocate of aiming high and setting tough challenges for yourself, however they still have to be realistic and manageable. All goals should be SMART (if you need a hand setting SMART goals then check out this post) in order to be achievable. Setting an impossible or near impossible goal may just deter you rather than offer motivation.
Share Your New Year’s Resolutions:
Making other people aware of your resolutions is great way to stay accountable. Whether you tell friends, family, co-workers or social media, the knowledge that other people may ask about your progress can give motivation not to quit. Other people may then also be able to support you on your journey. For example, if people know that you are trying to give up smoking then they may be less likely to smoke around you or offer you a cigarette.
Have A Plan:
Set out how you are going to achieve your resolutions. If your resolution is to lose weight then create some meal plans or exercise routines to follow. If you want to save money then sit down and budget how much you can put aside each month to reach your target without implications. You need to know why you want to achieve your resolution and then plan accordingly to help you succeed.
Having a plan is great, but things won’t always go how you want or expect them to. Twelve months is a long time and things can change. If you end up falling behind on your resolution or feel like giving up completely, then just remember that each day is a new opportunity to restart.
Track Your Progress:
Keeping track of your progress can act as motivation to keep going as you can see the fruits of your labour. Just remember that progress isn’t always linear; you may stagnate for a short period but it’s important not to give up. Take a look back at what you have achieved and feel proud; if you are struggling or feel like quitting then just tell yourself that you have done it before so you can do it again. Knowing that you are going to review your progress can also act as a way to keep you accountable as you are going to want to see improvement. Sometimes we take what we achieve for granted and don’t give ourselves enough credit, so don’t be too hard on yourself and look at the positives!
Rewards can be a great way to motivate yourself to stay on track. I often set myself little goals such as working out X amount of times per month or logging X amount of running miles per month. If I achieve them, I’ll buy myself a new pair of training shoes, clothing, or another little treat. It’s important that the rewards you set aren’t going to be detrimental to your overall resolution. For example, if you want to lose weight then treating yourself to a takeaway each weekend is going to do more damage than good. The idea is that you give yourself a little reward as a bit of a “pick me up” and a pat on the back.
When things get tough always take a moment to stop and remember why you made your new year’s resolutions in the first place. Do you want to lose weight to feel more confident or for health reasons? Are you saving to buy a home, get married or go on holiday? Remind yourself of why you want to achieve your resolution and what it could mean for you. It’s so easy to become short-sighted nowadays as people look for instant gratification even when it may jeopardise their long-term health or happiness. Just taking a few minutes to reflect on what achieving your resolution could mean to you in the long run can be a great way to get back on track.
My New Year’s Resolutions For 2020:
I posted about my goals for 2020 last month and if you missed that post then you can find it here. In addition to my goals, I have set some new year’s resolutions to try and help me stay on track with my training and dieting.
This will be my biggest hurdle if I want to hit my 2020 goals. Last year I started off well, but soon let things build up and my consistency dropped. Then I got stuck in a rut and couldn’t seem to get started again. This year I want to make sure that I’m training regularly, and ideally do some form of exercise every day. I have put together a training plan to get me through the London Marathon and then the Liverpool Marathon the month after. However, as I mentioned above, things don’t always go to plan. As such, I have a few shorter workouts or options ready so that I can at least try and do something instead of skipping an entire workout.
I had a few pounds to lose back in June but I was near where I wanted to be. Since then I have gotten married, been on honeymoon, celebrated Chris’s birthday and then had time off work for Christmas and New Year… basically, during all of that, I put weight back on. I know that I can get back down to where I was, but I also know that there will be a little bit more to lose even after that point.
I’ve done some searching for meal plans and plan my day of eating in advance which helps to stop me snacking so much at work. To help things along a bit, I decided to invest in some supplements. Whether these will help, be a placebo effect, or do nothing at all is yet to be determined! I figured that I didn’t have much to lose as they weren’t really expensive and even if they were a placebo then I’d take all the help I could get! At the very least they give me motivation to eat healthily and not fall off the rails as I have spent money on them and want to see some results.
This isn’t technically a new year resolution, but more of a transition. I have been vegetarian for as long as I can remember and it’s definitely becoming more popular. I remember when I used to go for a meal out with friends or family and struggle to find something on the menu that I could eat. I’d usually only have one vegetarian option and otherwise would have to make a meal out of side dishes!
I’m not in a position where I can go full vegan (some vegan options are quite expensive!), however I am making changes where I can. I’ve taken a liking to coconut milk instead of my usual semi-skimmed milk, and opt for the vegan option when we eat out. I’m eating less cheese and dairy; however, I am still fond of mozzarella in my pasta lunches for work. Greek yogurt with no calorie syrup is also my go-to low-calorie pudding of choice.
I’m trying to lower my carbohydrate intake on my non-running days, so have made the switch from whole-wheat spaghetti to courgette spaghetti instead. I have purchased some vegan protein powder and a few different brands of vegan protein bars. It’s going to be a more gradual transition for me and just something to help me make more of a conscious choice when it comes to choosing what I eat.
Do you have any new year’s resolutions? If so, feel free to share them and any tips you have for sticking with them in the comments section below!