Tempting as it may be to lose a stone, quit drinking, set up a business and go Vegan this January 2019, in reality it’s probably not gonna happen. According to experts, aside from being unattainable, setting overly ambitious goals (particularly more than two or three) can actually be detrimental to your mental health. Failing to achieve your targets can lead to negative thoughts which, combined with those notorious January blues, is a recipe for disaster.
Your Resolution Solution
So how do you make positive changes this New Year?
As Aristotle once said, “Excellence is not an act but a habit” and the key to developing a new habit is to break your intentions down into small (petite, if you will) chunks before repeating them.
Big changes aren’t going to happen overnight; instead it’s better to concentrate on specific daily tasks that will either become repeated behaviour or lead you to the next step in your journey. For example, instead of “eat more fruit” you’re better off going for “have one piece of fruit with lunch every day”- not only is this achievable, it’s also easier to track and the repetitive nature is likely to help it become a habit.
If you want your resolution to be part of a bigger project; launching a business for example, then try focussing on the immediate next step required e.g. spend 30 minutes a night on a business plan OR on building your website.
Once you’ve decided on your resolutions, jot them down into a notebook and check back regularly to track your progress. If it feels necessary to set a time frame be sure to include that too- but make sure it’s achievable! It’s also best to limit your resolutions to a maximum of three so as not to overwhelm yourself.
How long until I fulfil my resolution/s?
How long is a piece of string?
One common myth is that it takes 21 days to create a new habit. Studies have since proven that on average it takes over 2 months for a new pattern of behaviour to really stick. The exact length of time is dependant on the task at hand and the individual in question.
The main take away here is not to be too hard on yourself. Try your best to incorporate your resolutions into your lifestyle wherever you can but don’t compare yourself to others and take everything one day at a time.
Good luck and happy new year!