Are your New Year’s resolutions holding you back?

The start of a new year signals new beginnings, where we often find ourselves setting a series of resolutions designed to combat an overindulgent festive season.
 
Unfortunately, research suggests most people never achieve their goals—so why do we robotically set them each year?
 
Psychologically, we like setting New Year’s resolutions as it has a clear start date, which implies there will be an end. Because of this, we often find ourselves victim to “false hope syndrome”, where we have unrealistic expectations about the likely speed, amount, ease and consequences needed to change our behaviour.
 
Instead of a resolution, why not try a habitual change, or a reset, which symbolises an ongoing commitment to a broader behavior change? This is important, as according to research from the University College London, it takes about 66 days to completely break an old habit, and it can take much longer to master something new. 
 
With this in mind, consider the following tips to help you create new habits that’ll see you reach your 2019 goals:
 

Be realistic

Are you really going to run a marathon, learn to speak French and drop 10kg’s by Easter? Consider some choices you know you can easily make in your daily routine that over time, will become a habit. Could you commit to 1 meat-free meal or a green smoothie a week or having a healthy salad 5 days a week? Could you commit to 30 minutes of daily movement? Remember, you don’t have to start on January 1, just get started, and don’t get disheartened if you fail. Just start again the next day!
 

Be SMART

As in business, your goals for 2019 should be SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-bound). If the change you’re looking to make can tick all those areas, you’ll be more likely to succeed.
 

Be accountable

Don’t be afraid to tell others about the changes you’re trying to make. Having others aware will help keep you accountable—you may even find friends or family who want to join in.
 

Be open

Having the support of your family and friends is one thing, but having people commit to the behaviour change with you is even better. You can all work towards the same goal, encouraging each other along the way and helping you overcome any barriers or hurdles you face along the way.
 

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