How are you doing with your New Year resolutions?
The kind of advice I offer at the start of the year makes sure you create resolutions which are specific and measurable, and you’ll be staying on track by doing lots of planning.
But as the weeks go by, ask yourself – how are you doing?
Here are some things to consider if you’re struggling:
One slip up is not the end of the road
Don’t let one slip up turn into total failure.
One unhealthy meal is not going to undo all the healthy food you’ve eaten so far this year.
And if you’ve missed a workout, get yourself back to the gym next week to catch up.
I see people getting so angry at themselves for one mistake that they forget the successes they’ve had up to then. Keeping food diaries and recording workouts can give you a reminder of how well you’ve done so far, so that you can put one bad day in proper perspective.
If you’ve had a bad day, just make tomorrow a good one!
You’ve probably heard the saying begin with the end in mind. But what is even more important is to progress with the end in mind.
Remind yourself daily what you are aiming at and why. Focus on the benefits of reaching your goal – how great you’re going to feel, and what you can look forward to.
Avoid negative language
Most resolutions are about giving things up, so it’s very easy to talk about them in negative terms: “I am giving up beer for January”, “I am giving up cakes and chocolate”, or “I am going to stop worrying”. But all of these things have a positive end – a healthier you, a leaner you, a more effective you.
If you think and talk only about what you are giving up, you are bound to feel deprived. Shift the focus from what you are missing to what you are looking forward to by replacing negative statements with more positive ones – instead of “I’m not drinking during January” say “I’m having a healthy January and concentrating on raising my energy levels”.
You’ll also be challenged less by “friends” when you use positive language. Say your colleagues at work are off to the pub at the end of the day and are trying to persuade you to join them. Say “I’m not drinking at the moment” and you’ll probably find yourself questioned and having to justify yourself. Say “I’m going to the gym tomorrow and want to feel my best” and you’re giving them a positive, clearly stated reason which is less likely to be challenged.
You might find it useful to spend some time practice turning negative statements into positive ones, as most people naturally use negative language without thinking.
In summary, forgive one-off slips, stay focussed, and be mindful of your language.
Look out for further tips to help you stay on track in my next article.
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