A New Year is often seen as a fresh start, and with this, most of us choose to make resolutions to help us change something in our lives. Although, while making resolutions is often easy, keeping them can be more of a challenge, with chances being that at some point in your life you have broken your New Year goals usually sooner than you’d like to admit! So we’ve put together some top tips to help you stick to your goals in 2021.
Set realistic and specific goals
A common reason why many people fail to keep to their resolutions is because the goals they set are unattainable and out of reach. When deciding on your resolutions, try making them realistic, for example saying you’ll never eat unhealthy foods again is more than likely going to lead to failure, instead just aim to cut back on unhealthier options or substitute lower calorie alternatives such as:
The NHS Eatwell Guide can help you to build a well balanced diet plan. This way you are more likely to make the positive changes in your everyday life. Also, try not to make your goals vague and instead set a specific goal, so rather than ‘getting fitter’ a better goal would be to ‘attend an exercise class once a week’. This will give you a target to aim for and you’ll be able to track your progress as you go along.
Break big goals up into smaller steps
Sometimes when we choose large goals that come with big changes, they can become overwhelming. A good idea is to set small, achievable goals throughout the year and then when you accomplish these, go on to set another small achievable goal, and so on, ultimately leading you to your larger goal. For instance, if you have a large weight goal, break it down into a small loss each week. You’ll feel motivated when you are successful in making your target and it will encourage you to keep at it for longer term success.
Drinking enough water is also a great goal to begin with, especially if you’re looking to be healthier and fitter in 2021. It’s often overlooked but many of us don’t drink enough water each day, and water is a brilliant way to lower your calorie intake. Water has no calories and no sugars.
The NHS recommends you should drink at least 6-8 glasses of water a day to stay hydrated and replace the normal water loss from your body. Being hydrated will also make you feel more energised and motivated, both mentally and physically to achieve those New Year goals.
Find other healthy drink choices you could make here.
Don’t make too many resolutions
We can often feel overwhelmed to try to make changes to lots of different areas in our lives at once. Focusing on too many goals takes a lot of sustained effort, making you less likely to have the motivation to be able to stick to all of them. Instead, choosing one goal to focus on and then achieving that goal will give you the confidence to then go on to set and achieve your second goal.
Plan how to achieve your goals
One mistake people often make is to leave choosing their goals until the last minute. Taking time to think about your goal and how you will achieve it, along with any resources you may need, are key factors to help you stick to your resolutions. Researching on the internet or reading books are great ways to help prepare for this. More so, organise any equipment you need and have this ready to start as this will stop you using this as a reason to quit. For example:
- If you plan on exercising more then get your fitness clothes, trainers and music selection ready.
- If you’re planning on taking a trip this year, make sure you’re prepared with travel insurance that suits your individual needs, Just Travel Cover specialise in travel insurance for people with pre-existing medical conditions.
The NHS has a wide variety of health and wellbeing support available for free, including:
Don’t worry if you have a set back
Just because you may have had a bad day or a bad week when it comes to following your resolutions, whether it be not sticking to eating healthy or doing less exercise than you wanted, it is important to not to think you have failed as a result. Instead, make a note of the setback and the trigger that caused it, then try to learn the lesson from this. If you know that lack of time in the morning makes you grab an unhealthy snack rather than something nutritious, try to get up earlier. Trying again after a setback is key to succeeding with your goals.
Choose a resolution to do that you will enjoy
New year resolutions are often focused around making improvements to our physical health but it is just as important to focus on our mental health too. It’s a good idea to try and include something to your resolution list that you enjoy – whether this is spending more time doing something you already like to do, like reading, or trying out a new hobby you’ve always wanted to do. Doing something you enjoy will keep you coming back for more and you will feel happier as a result!
Get support for your goal
Being surrounded by supportive friends and family and talking about your goals can help you keep motivated to stick with them. If you can, try and find someone who has similar goals to yours, such as others in the same workout class at your gym, as sharing your success and struggles with each other will make the journey to achieving your goals much easier.
Finally, make sure to reward yourself! Small rewards that don’t conflict with your resolution are great encouragement for you to keep going. You can even lead up to bigger rewards at the end of the month or even the end of the year! You’ll have earned it!