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new year's resolution

New Year: Celebrate Everything You Are

‘New Year, New You!’ Its a phrase we’ve all become accustomed to hearing when the new year rolls around. And a fresh start is a wonderful idea! Being able to press the reset clock on any wrongdoings from 2018, be they emotional or physical, and resolve to try harder in 2019 definitely has its benefits.

But have we become part of a worrying trend in which our introspection and constant pursuit of physical and emotional perfection means that we are never going to be truly happy with who we are? January sees a surge of renewed gym memberships, sign ups to weight-loss programs and the resolution to achieve previously unattained goals.

We say things like ‘2019 will be my year, this is my year for prosperity and success’ without ever stopping to acknowledge that 2018 was also our year, as was the year before and the year before that.

Its a sad truth but most new year’s resolutions fail not long after they’ve started. It doesn’t mean that we’re not committed to our goals, rather we may have set ourselves unachievable targets that just aren’t sustainable in the long run. When I think back to the beginning of 2018 I can’t even remember my intentions for the year let alone whether I achieved them, though there is a great deal that I achieved last year and a lot I am proud of.

But why don’t New Year’s resolutions work?

  1. Repeating the same pattern each year is unlikely to yield the results you’re after. If you find yourself setting a weight related goal each new year only to find that in subsequent months you give up, it could be time to find a new tactic.
  2. You have set yourself too many goals: Rather than a long  list of activities for the year ahead think about changing just one habit instead.
  3. When you decide upon a new years resolution you are also setting the terms of your achievement. i.e. if you set a goal to comfortably run 3 miles by summer coming from a starting point of not running at all, and find that by summer you can comfortably run 2 miles, by your standards that could be considered a failure. However, just think, you can now run 2 miles!

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Celebrate Your Achievements

First ask yourself – why are you doing it and who are you doing it for? The answer to that question will help you determine the best route to success. Its absolutely fine to think about an end goal for your endeavours but also think about setting yourself smaller, bite sized and achievable goals along the way so that you can celebrate each step along your journey.

Real change takes time, effort, patience and a lot of forgiveness to achieve. Forgiveness is potentially the most crucial element, because it is likely that you’ll stumble in whatever you want to do. Recognise the blip for what it is, just a blip, and then forgive yourself and carry on with your journey. The human mind takes just 21 days to adjust to a major life change. So if you can set yourself a positive challenge and maintain it for 3 weeks you stand every chance of succeeding.

According to research from the University College London, it takes on average 66 days to break an old habit and longer to master a new one. So in a little over 3 months you could have anchored a new behaviour pattern in your life. That doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll see the results you’re after in 3 months but it does mean that whatever you’re doing isn’t a fad, it has become part of your daily life, and you have uploaded a new program of behaviour into your subconciousness.

My challenge to you is instead of thinking about the gym and weight-loss for January can you instead find something positive to say about yourself everyday? Celebrate yourself for 2019 and recognise how great you really are.

 

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