It happens every year, you wake up covered in chocolate coin foil, a pink paper crown half hanging over your face and cranberry sauce cemented into your beard (just me?) and think, this is it… This is the end of year rock bottom that makes you promise yourself that January really will bring a new you, instead of a bunch of sarcastic memes and a list of things you never accomplished.
And then it all goes wrong again…
But, there are people who have actually made New Year’s goals and seen them through, (I know, I couldn’t believe it either). So no matter your goal, if you follow these 7 handy tips UnCOVered have acquired, you might just make it.
From sculpting your guns at the gym to learning to play the recorder, the key to taking on any new skill is consistency. This doesn’t mean becoming obsessed with your resolution and throwing yourself into it at every chance you get. More often than not, this just leads to pressure, frustration and an intense urge to give up.
Instead, try your best to maintain a steady pace. If possible set a timetable or regiment that will mean you are working on your resolution at the same rate week by week. That way it will begin to become a part of your natural routine.
2. Set manageable goals
In order to achieve the end goal of your resolution you need to be able to keep track of your progress. By making both long-term and short-term goals you can stay on target much easier than if you had no plan at all.
For instance, just saying you want to lose weight is not specific enough to be attainable. Tell yourself what weight you want to be in 6 months or how much faster you want to be on the treadmill in 6 weeks. By setting goals you can also keep things exciting and varied.
3. Remember your victories
It’s important to remain positive to keep your resolution going, especially on the tougher days when you think you’re not making progress. (These days will come no matter how positive you are). This is when you must remind yourself of things you have achieved, no matter how small they may seem.
From the time you went a whole day without cracking your knuckles to baking the perfect batch of muffins, whatever your goal is, remember to congratulate yourself on the progress you’ve made towards it. And at the same time, don’t focus on the setbacks that have occurred, they’ll only bring you down.
4. Don’t be afraid of taking a break
The reason why many people fail to reach goals they set for themselves is because the pressure becomes too overwhelming to handle. With that said, don’t be too proud to take a break from your resolution.
It’s fine to take a week off from the gym or miss a couple of days practicing your salsa moves if you need to. Take time to relax, re-evaluate your goals and do some research around them. You’ll soon see that if it’s something you truly enjoy, you won’t be able to go very long without it.
5. Talk it over
Our British ‘stiff upper lip’ mentality, in which we like to pretend everything’s ok and just generally suffer silently, can often be the downfall of a good resolution. And while it may violate every fibre of your proud heart, you should make time to talk about your resolution and your goals.
Ensure to talk about the positives and negatives of the challenge you have undertaken, especially with others who might be doing something similar. If you’ve joined a book club for example, talk the process over with other members and get to know them. Are they struggling to keep up? When do they get their reading done?
On the other hand, if your resolution is more of a solo mission and you don’t feel you have anyone in real life to talk to, the Internet is always a close second. Of course, all Internet advice should be taken with a pinch of salt but it’s better than feeling like you’re going it alone.
6. Plan a reward
If you’ve gone ahead with the effort of creating a system to track your progress, it’d be rude not to have a reward system in place too! Think of something you really want (that top you saw the other day, latest season of your favourite show on DVD, Lego) and plan when you are allowed this treat and stick to it.
So, for example, when I can play Iron Man on the guitar without making any mistakes I will buy myself that FX pedal I want. The reward system works even better if it’s something that aids your resolution’s long term goal.
7. Do not stop trying
If your resolution if something you’re really serious about, you shouldn’t see this as a way to kill time for a few months, but a truly beneficial lifestyle change.
Self-improvement and progression is something we should all seek to achieve across our entire lives. And the only way that this progression ends is if you decide it does, if you give up and stop trying. So ask yourself, where’s the fun in that? The journey is often better than the destination after all.