Making New Year’s resolutions is one of my favourite things to do. It’s easy to hate on the people spouting things like ‘New Year, New Me’ but since when was trying to better yourself a bad thing?
The start of a new year is all about what you make it. If you want to strive for new, wondrous achievements, then you can, by all means. But if you’d rather stick to what you know then that’s fine too.
Making too many resolutions or setting goals that are unachievable at this point in your life can make the start of the year unnecessarily stressful. This can especially be the case if you’re making resolutions to improve your mental health.
So here are a few things to bear in mind during the first few days of 2017.
If you’re already familiar with S.M.A.R.T goals then you’ve probably heard this a million times so feel free to skip this paragraph. If you haven’t come across S.M.A.R.T goals before, they’re a really useful way to focus your resolutions. One of your resolutions might be to ‘get fitter,’ but have you considered how you’ll actually do this? By making your resolution into a S.M.A.R.T goal you’ll have a better chance. Your goals should be:
S – Specific
What do you want to achieve? You want to get fitter but what does that mean to you? Do you want to be able to run a certain distance, lose weight, or tone up? Decide the specifics of your resolution and you’ll be better focused.
M – Measurable
Make sure that your resolution is measurable. How will you know when you’ve accomplished it?
A – Achievable
Is it realistic? If you’re starting from a low level of fitness then it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to run a marathon by the end of the year. Choose resolutions that are challenging yet realistic.
R – Relevant
This is all about whether your resolution is relevant to YOU. Is this goal worthwhile to you? Is it worth your time? And is now a good period in your life to be tackling this goal?
T – Time limited
Ask yourself what you want to be able to achieve with this goal in a month, 6 months or a year from now? If you are taking up running then aim to be able to run a mile in 1 month’s time, then maybe 3 miles by the middle of the year. Be flexible so that you can adjust your resolutions as you make progress.
When it comes to making New Year’s Resolutions, balance is vital. You might have a list of resolutions but you can’t really expect to take on 5 new hobbies, go to the gym 4 days a week and eat fruit for every meal. It’s all about balance.
Think about what is realistic for you. You can’t possibly change your whole life around and you don’t need to! Stick to what works for you and add bits in where possible. It’s not necessary to stop eating chocolate when you can just cut down.
So you’ve made your resolutions and it’s so far so good but what happens when your focus starts to wilt. You’ve been to the gym every other day this week but it’s Sunday and you just can’t be bothered now.
Firstly, don’t be disheartened. A resolution doesn’t mean you have to be achieving constantly. So you’ve taken a day off from exercise. That’s okay! Just start again when you’re ready, both physically and mentally!
Secondly, it’s okay to quit. None of your resolutions should involve doing activities that you hate or putting yourself in situations that you dread, so if you feel like your resolutions just aren’t working out for you, then stop. It might just not be the right time for you or it might never be your thing. That’s okay.