How are those New Year's resolutions going? 5 ways to stay on track

Peter Botting
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Are you meeting your New Years resolutions? (Source: Wikimedia)

Ok. So this is 2015. Week three. Work is awfully real. The Christmas holidays are a distant memory, the aftermath of the Christmas office party survived… but what about those fervent, hangover-fuelled New Year resolutions?

Like most people, you probably chose something from the standard three tabled buffet of New Year’s Resolution categories: 1. Losing weight or at least getting a bit fitter. 2. Getting a new job or even a raise or promotion or 3. Breaking up or starting or improving a relationship.

If you are like me, you probably find it tough to keep to those dramatic promises after the first week has passed and reality has set in.

Here are five tips to helping you stick to those New Year Resolutions. More or less.

It’s the direction not the day

Losing weight, learning a skill, being nice to people - these are not one-off events where you get the medal and then the job is done. They are cumulative, they are achieved day by day, calorie by calorie, lesson by lesson, kind word by kind word. So what if you screwed up today? You didn't die - start again tomorrow.

Cheating doesn’t make you a bad person

In fact - sometimes it makes you more determined - or even changes your thinking for the better. I used to love drinks in a can. With whiskey and sometimes without. Then last year I went on a bit of a low-key fitness thing last, banished some foods and started walking more. After a few months with no fizzy drinks, I was tempted and gave in and sucked down what had been my favourite drink… urrrgh…the sugar in the drink coated the insides of my mouth…. Fizzy was banned again without me lusting after it anymore. Result.

Habits take 30 days to install

Somebody proved this once. No source I am afraid, you will have to believe me. If you do something for 30 days it will become a habit that makes it easier to keep doing. Don't give up. 30 days in a row.

Selfishness can be good for you

Sometimes you have to say to hell with it. If you are fitting something new into your life, a new person, new exercise, personal development or dedicated personal time - they are all good for you and they all will cost you something else. Pay up. See these things as pluses for you and invest in them. Like a selfish brat.

Looking forward

I met Gary Player, who Wikipedia credibly says was “widely regarded as one of the greatest players in the history of golf.” I was a young tennis coach introducing some of my tennis players to this legend. He talked about what people now call “visualisation”. You have to see yourself thinner, richer, happier if you want to find the motivation to put in the work. Combine this with where you are now - check out the gap and get focused on what you have to do.

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