New Years Resolutions... are a bit rubbish

Statistically speaking, New Years resolutions are a waste of time. There are a bunch of studies out there that say between 80 and 92% of resolutions fail. They fail for a number of reasons, they're too ambitious, they're not specific, they're not measurable... the list goes on. Sorry to ...

pee on the campfire but science has spoken and people are more likely to fail than succeed when it comes to New Years resolutions.

All is not lost though so don't throw your goals out the window or your hands in the air. Instead let's have a look at how to make goals that really stick, how to make a resolution that you can actually achieve. Here are some how-to starters:

1) Make positive goals. By this I mean if your goal is to eat less, drink less, stop smoking, stop gossiping, try thinking less about what you DON'T want and more about what you DO want to achieve. Generally speaking, 'towards' goals are more often achieved than 'away from' goals.

2) Know why. Think about why you're doing this, why do you want to achieve this? If it's to drink less, why? What is the goal beyond the goal? In order to get to that point, we often have to ask 'why' at least 3 times to get to the real end goal. Drinking less might actually be about being in control more, or maybe it's about health, maybe it's about being more productive at work or having better relationships. That's for you to figure out but drinking less just for the sake of it is a bit arbitrary and less likely to stick. It's also important to think about who you're doing it for. Is it something you believe in? Or is it something someone else thinks you should do? Because that will also affect your success

3) Chunk. Losing 10 stone is a lofty goal. It's also a mega goal, it's a bit overwhelming and that makes it really hard to stick to. Try chunking your goal down in to pieces - maybe it's lose 2lb this week or perhaps it's make it to the gym 3 times, or even go for a walk today. By chunking down in to bite size pieces you can achieve small successes and these add up and get you really motivated to keep on achieving small things. In one of my previous blogs I talk about 10 minute super powers, it's the habit of small wins that add up to huge change

4) Keep it real. Be honest with yourself, can you give up all booze? Is there a stag do or a really important occasion that is going to throw you off? Can you suddenly start going to the gym 6 times a week? Is that even logistically feasible, what about child care? Think it through and make a plan because little failures will derail you whereas a more realistic and measured goal will get you some small wins that will set you on the right path

5) Get specific. A goal that is just 'be a better person' is pretty much impossible to measure and if you can't measure it, how do you know if you achieved it or not? A goal that is 'commit 2 random acts of kindness a week' is MUCH more specific. You know if you've done it or not! If you've decided to lose weight, how much? By when?

So don't give up and skip New Years resolutions all together, if you want to make a change just make it the right way and you'll achieve amazing things. Don't think it's too late either. Whether it's January or March, every single day you have a fresh start and within every single day you have hundreds of opportunities to make choices that help you achieve your goals no matter what they are. If you've already slipped that's OK, brush it off and keep moving - for most of us, New Years resolutions are actually lifestyle changes. They're a whole new way of being and that takes time to set in.