Making a Resolution that Sticks
When it comes to New Years Resolutions, we’ve all had years when our best intentions have fallen flat before we’ve even seen out January. So what’s the secret to creating resolutions that stick around all year?
The first step is assessing if it’s something you’re likely to stick with for at least two months. On average it takes 66 days to form a new habit, according to research by The University of Sydney’s Dr Anthony Grant.
Also ensure you’re not setting yourself up for failure with unrealistic expectations, advises executive life strategist Shannah Kennedy. She says keeping it simple and knowing the motivation behind why you’re making that resolution is key.
“You have to want to be committed,” she says. “Keep them simple, write them down and book them in.”
If you’re a chocolate fiend, swearing off all sugar in 2015 may seem like a good idea on December 31 but it’s not likely to make it past the first month.
Charlene Grosse, spokesperson for the Dietitians Association of Australia, says health changes should be approached as a journey rather than a quick resolution.
“You need to make health a priority – not just focus on numbers on the scales,” she says. “A positive approach is more sustainable, so focus on what you need to do – not want you cannot do. For example, focus on ‘I need to eat more fruit and vegetables’, rather than ‘I cannot eat biscuits or chocolate’.”
Make your health goals real by enlisting the help of a professional to help you set achievable and measurable milestones. A dietician can tailor an eating plan to your lifestyle, and a personal trainer can make out all the steps to achieve your goals, whether they are a regular exercise plan or running a half marathon.
Personal trainer James Duigan, who has worked with celebrities like Elle Macpherson and Hugh Grant, says it is important to achieve balance in everything you do. “Enjoy the sunshine,” James says. “Choose an activity that you don't normally do. Try tennis or lawn bowls. A healthy dose of vitamin D and some exercise with friends can make you feel brand new.”
The consensus is; you need to commit to long-term health – not just focus on a number on a scale to make your New Year’s resolution a success story.