At the beginning of the New Year, we were inundated with people on social media declaring ‘New Year, New Me’. Every year sees another wave of hopeful individuals, determined that this will be the year that they change their lives forever. Yet, the New Year comes around again, and the same people who were declaring that this was their year for change are once again promising to overhaul their lives. How can you ensure that this year you really do follow through on your goals?
Choose your goals wisely. If you decide that you are going to stop smoking, quit drinking, exercise four times a week, read ten books a month and have twice weekly dinner parties – all while trying to work and have a life- then you are setting yourself up to fail.
Think about what is most important to you. Make a list of all the targets that you want to meet this year, all of the goals that you want to achieve, and put this list in order of significance. Perhaps cutting down your smoking is more important to you than learning a new skill. Once you have crossed the first item off your list, you can work your way down at your own pace. Not everything has to start on January first.
Another option is to give yourself one more general aim, and work towards this through more specific means. For example, give yourself one overall resolution- to improve your health. Throughout the year work on ridding yourself of your vices, improving your diet and upping your exercise regime. Once again, you do not have to begin every specific objective at the same time; just ensure that you are steadily fulfilling your resolution.
The reason that such drastic resolutions are made every year is that they are usually given up on within the first month. It is up to you to make sure that you do not trip at the first hurdle and throw away your targets for the year. Be in the right place at the right time. If you are giving up smoking, then choosing to keep your friends company at the smoking area of a party will not help you. If you are dieting, taking your family out to your favourite indulgent Italian will lead you to temptation. Be in control of your own situations. Although your friend may be begging for your company in the smoking area, politely explain to them why you cannot join them. If you are taking your family out for a meal, find a new place to eat with a whole range of health conscious options.
This rule also applies to your own home. If you are trying to teach yourself a new skill, do this with your full concentration- do not have any distractions such as the television being on, or your social media page open.
If at first you do not succeed, then try and try again. One little slip up does not have to ruin your whole plan. Giving up because of one small mistake is a shame- accept what has happened, and move on.
As we stated before, it is up to you to make this work. The only person who can be held responsible for failure is you.
Keep a diary of your progress. Whether this is a record of what you have eaten, smoked, learned or drank that day, this will help you not only reflect on how far you have come, but also admit to yourself when you have failed. It is easy to ignore the smaller slip-ups, but when you see these written down you notice them a lot more easily. You should be keeping track of your progress every day.
Pick yourself back up when you have fallen. Rather than making excuses, get your head back in the game. Try to counter this small failure by doing an extra twenty minutes of exercise, twenty minutes of reading or one less cigarette the next day. Set yourself monthly goals. At the end of each month in your daily diary, write a note stating where you would like to be in your transformation. When you reach this date, see how far you have come. You will have such a great sense of achievement if you have succeeded in reaching your aim.
If you follow these guidelines, then this really will be the year that you change your life for the better and start Living 360!