How to stay motivated with your New Year’s Resolutions

Whether you’re joining in with Veganuary, getting fit, learning a new skill, or simply committing to spending more time with family and friends, whatever your New Year’s resolution, we’ve got some top tips to motivate yourself this year.

Why make New Year’s resolutions?

Dubbed the “fresh start effect”, the new year feels like a new beginning: it really is a time for “new year, new you”. One of the main reasons we make New Year’s resolutions is because they offer us the perfect time to commit to something. A new year is a blank page, offering us twelve whole months of potential success.

Some of the most common resolutions include losing weight, stopping a bad habit (like smoking), starting a new hobby, or committing to positive new behaviour, like writing a gratitude journal. Whichever New Year’s resolutions you choose, we know that enthusiasm can wane, so learning how to stay motivated will help you stay on track and achieve your goal.

Create a measurable goal

The cornerstone to success is setting yourself a clear, measurable goal. Intangible and vague goals can make you feel lost and deflated if you’re not sure whether you’re achieving them.

Instead, get specific. By creating measurable goals, you’re far more likely to stick to them. If you’re looking to become healthier, your resolution could be “to eat five portions of fruit and vegetables a day” or “go to the gym three times a week”. If you’re resolving to see friends and family more, it could be “see friends and family twice a month”.

Once you’ve set a measurable goal, you’ll be able to track it throughout the year. You’ll see where you’ve made improvements and where you could do better.

Set yourself up for success

When starting anything for the first time, if you’ve committed to it, you’ll initially feel motivated. But we all know that, after a week or two, motivation can dwindle. So making sure you have what you need from the get-go (and being aware that motivation and success is not linear) will help during those times when you waiver.

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It’s time to make bad habits a chore and good ones convenient. For example, if afternoon snacking is your downfall, either get rid of all the snacks or prepare healthy ones. If you’re pushed for time to get to the gym, pack your kit bag the night before or even get your pals in on the same resolution and do it together.

Identify clear actions

To get some clarity, sit down on those days between Christmas and New Year and think about your resolutions, reflecting on all that you’ve achieved in the last twelve months. Next, create a plan that includes your objectives to clearly outline the steps you need to take to get close to your goal. While you’re identifying these stages, think of the excuses you have perhaps used in the past. This could be anything from not having enough time or not having the budget to not having the right equipment.

Accept the challenges

There will always be occasions that get in the way. But instead of allowing them to derail your success, accept them. It may be you’ve been invited to a fancy restaurant for dinner with friends that could blow the budget you’ve set for yourself or you’ve been busy with work, so you missed your gym session.

If you know you’ll miss your gym session because you’re going out with friends later, why not put on a pair of comfy trainers and head out for a lunchtime walk? Our Amortyl range of trainers are not only stylish but feel like you’re walking on clouds.

Taking the time to plan and decide how you’ll tackle the obstacles will help you stick to your resolution for the long term. Remember a New Year’s resolution should be about making your life better, not harder.

Don’t rush the journey – the start date

If your head isn’t in the game, you’ll find it harder to stay on track. 1 January doesn’t mean you have to start your resolution there and then – besides, you might still have a party to go to!

Put on your favourite party dress and accept that you’ll start your resolution when you’re ready. There’s no point getting down about your goals – they should be positive. Once you’re in the right frame of mind, then you’ll be ready.

Remember, we’re all working towards our own timeline – no one else’s.

Keep track of your progress

Like any goal in life, whether personal or professional, it’s important you keep a track of your progress. This will help you know if you’re heading in the right direction.

If you’re looking to save money for a big event like a wedding or holiday, work out how much money you want to set aside and then how long you want it to take to get to your goal. From there, you can see how much you need to put aside per month.

You can also use an app or a calendar to check off the days you’ve successfully stuck to your resolution. Having a visible way to track your progress will help keep you accountable and, more importantly, motivated.

Celebrate mini-milestones

If you’ve set yourself a long-term resolution, it can be hard to picture achieving it and it might make you give up before you even start. Instead, celebrate mini-milestones and reward yourself.

This could be treating yourself to a massage or buying those shoes you’ve had your eye on or it could be something as simple as switching off your phone, putting on your favourite movie and slipping into some snuggly pjs. However you choose to celebrate these successes, make sure it won’t derail your long-term goals.

Don’t despair if things go wrong

If you slip up, don’t despair. Learn from your mistake and take the time to evaluate what happened and how you can become better. Whether you miss a gym session, make an impulse buy, or have a cigarette after a stressful day: whatever it is, don’t let it define you.

Part of life is learning from things that go wrong and picking yourself back up. Talking with a friend, whether over the phone or over a coffee, is a great way to gain some perspective and get you back on track.

Make your goal part of your life

Ultimately, a New Year’s resolution should be a goal that you make a part of your life – as natural as brushing your teeth in the morning – but habits take time to form. Your New Year’s resolutions shouldn’t stop you from living your life, they should enhance it.

Dress for success

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