• Claire


2020 is almost here, and it’s not just a new year but also a brand new decade! This can be the start of a whole new chapter in our life if we set the right goals and stay focussed on them, but Instead of making the usual, boring resolutions that are doomed to fail, it’s time to shake things up a bit. Why not redefine our goals in a way that makes them easier to stick to?

Let’s take a look at the standard themes for resolutions, and why it’s so hard to follow through on them.

Lose weight

This is one of the most common ones, and the reason it usually fails is that it’s far too vague! Without a specific goal we just get trapped in the cycle of diets, bingeing and guilt. Exactly how much weight do we need to lose? How are we going to do it? Do we even have a plan?

A restrictive diet is probably not the answer. Counting every calorie, eliminating entire food groups and making a different meal for yourself than you do for your family is a fast route to failure. Getting healthy shouldn’t make you miserable!

To make this resolution stick, a well-defined plan is essential. Start small: commit to eating more vegetables and less sweets. Notice I said less sweets, not none! Depriving yourself of things you love will guarantee that you’ll quit within a couple of weeks. Moderation is the key here. Don’t beat yourself up if you occasionally can’t resist a cake. Enjoy it and move on.

If the plan is to do it through exercise, there’s not even any point in having a weight goal. I dropped from a size 18 to a 14 this year after taking up CrossFit, but I haven’t lost an ounce of actual weight! Bear this in mind when deciding the best option for you.

Exercise more

Similar to weight loss, and equally vague. The usual pattern is that we join a gym with the best intentions, but after a few weeks start finding excuses not to go. A study found that people in Britain waste £37 million a year in unused gym memberships. Not everyone enjoys the gym, and why should we force ourselves to do something we don’t enjoy?

The trick here is to choose an exercise routine you do like. This could be as simple as committing to walking for 40 minutes, twice a week. It could be a dance class, if dancing is something you enjoy. Even more fun with a friend or partner! How about a self-defence class such as Krav Maga, or even trying a different fitness class every week until you find one you love? Exercising in a group is much more motivating than struggling alone, and I can guarantee you have at least one friend making the same resolution. Team up!

This resolution can be as simple as a commitment to use the stairs instead of the escalator or lift, or going for a walk at lunchtime rather than sitting at your desk surfing the internet. Start with small goals, and gradually add new ones whenever you feel it’s time for a new challenge.

Quit smoking

We all know smoking is bad, but every year millions of smokers decide to quit on January 1st and most of them fail. There are a few reasons for this.

The main one I see when people come to me to stop smoking is that they’re only doing it because they feel they should. They may be worried about their health, their partner wants them to quit, or they want to save money. The problem is that unless they feel ready, and are doing it for themselves, even I can’t make them quit.

Think about why you want to give up. If you really feel that you’re ready, and it’s the right time for you, think of it as a rewarding and challenging adventure!

Learn to think like a non-smoker. Rather than allowing yourself to think “I need a cigarette,” think “I’m feeling a bit tense because this is a time I would once have smoked.” Don’t think “I could just have one.” Think, “do I want to become a smoker?”

Tell yourself how much better you feel, and how well you’re doing. Do this often. Pat yourself on the back every time you beat a craving. Feel proud. Tell people!

Never say “Never again.” Don’t let yourself think “This is my last ever cigarette.” They will still be available, and you could choose to have one again if you wanted to. But you don’t want to, because you are a non-smoker!

Even if you’re fully committed, it can be a struggle to beat those triggers and psychological cravings at first. If you need help, hypnosis works! Give me a call.

Save more/spend less

Again, this needs to be clearly defined. How are you going to do it? What are you going to buy less of? How much do you hope to save in a month? In 6 months?

Consider what you currently spend money on that you don’t really need. Do you buy lunch every day? Pack a lunch for work instead. Cancel subscriptions you don’t use. Buy one less coffee every day. Stop impulse buying: make a new habit of waiting 24 hours before buying something. If you really need it you’ll still want it tomorrow, but more likely you’ll have forgotten about it completely by then!

Set an achievable savings goal. It doesn’t have to be huge, but if you’re aiming for a specific amount in a defined period of time it’s much easier to work toward it. Maybe you’d like to save for a holiday or a new car. Work out what it would cost and how much you need to save per month, then commit to that. It’s easier when you can imagine the end result.

Consider automated saving. Set your banking app to move a small amount of money to another account weekly or monthly. Maybe the amount you spend on lunches or what you saved on those cancelled subscriptions! It doesn’t have to be much, but in a few months it will really add up!

Once you have your goals defined and have a plan, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t be successful in sticking to your resolutions this year. Keep them achievable, write them down, break them into smaller goals, review them regularly and above all,

don’t forget to be kind to yourself!


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