Tips to succeed at your New Year Resolution

Wellness, which covers more than fitness, is at the top of many resolution lists year after year. Wellness can also mean eating healthier, quitting smoking or reducing stress.

People with all the desire in the world to succeed at their resolution fall short within the first week.

Ipswich life coach Ronita Neal shared some advice with The Queensland Times on ways to keep your resolutions in 2016.

Think through your resolution

“The problem is seven seconds from midnight and maybe with a few drinks under your belt is not the best time to make a resolution about change,” Ronita said.

Don’t make too many resolutions

“It is not useful to make a whole heap of impulsive resolutions that it will be impossible to keep and so you start the year as a failure.”

Make ‘smart’ resolutions

Ronita describes smart resolutions as being specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time bound.

“Change is hard and we need to make sure we have carefully considered what we want in the context of our life goals,” Ronita explained. “It is a good idea to think about all the different areas of your life and where you would most benefit from making changes.”

Remember change takes time

“In order to keep your resolutions and achieve your goals, you will need to keep up your motivation over a long period of time, but most of us give up too quickly,” she said.

Sticking to change could take up to three months of constantly making the choice.

“When you are trying to break a habit your brain usually has a very short-term focus and will throw a “tantrum” to get what it wants (the old way) now. Just remind yourself why you are making the change (long-term goal) and don’t go for the short-term pleasure.”

Resolve to change what you can control

Setting a goal to lose a certain amount of weight in a certain number of weeks may seem like a good resolution. But while it’s specific and measurable, the outcome isn’t entirely under your control.

According to Ronita, a resolution we can control is how much effort we put in.

“Have you been for your walk, did you do your weights session at the gym, did you leave the yummy packet of chocolate biscuits in the shop, and have you avoided the deep fried chips this week?” Ronita said.

“This continued effort, if at a sufficiently serious level, will eventually yield results such as being fitter, healthier, more active, more toned and happier.”

Don’t stop working

“Set progressively harder targets and make sure there is no end point for habits you need to keep going (for example, lose five kilograms for a specific event) because then your brain will have no reason to continue with the new habits.”

Take small steps

“If you are confident and are working on bigger work goals make sure you still cut them down into smaller steps. Measure, reward … and review frequently.”

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