I wonder how many of us have made New Year Resolutions? And how many have already been forgotten by the end of the fist week?

All of us, deep inside, have some idea of what good habits should look like. Deep inside we have a desire to fulfill those ideals. Because our ‘normal’ routine is slightly different over the New Year and we are a bit more relaxed, we have time to think more deeply about life. The break at the end of the year is always a good time to reflect on our lifestyle.

Also in the gaiety of the celebrations we may over indulge. This brings home the awareness of the toll we are putting on our bodies. As we ‘suffer’ from our excesses, we realise we should do something about our lifestyle or attitudes. And so we make our New Year resolutions: ‘I am going to cut down on my smoking or drinking’, ‘I am going to eat better’, ‘I am going to exercise more’.

But why do they get forgotten so quickly? Why are they so difficult to implement?

There are a whole host of reasons but I will just mention a few here:

  1. Firstly there is the pressure of life. The moment the demands of work, school and our normal life cycle kick in, we run out of time.
  2. Often our poor habits are a result of deeper influences. We may be worried about our financial situation or may have other unresolved fears or pressures.
  3. Our goal may seem unattainable because we don’t see quick results.
  4. We have not done any planning to achieve it.
  5. We don’t keep the goal and desire alive.

The resolve to do something that will bring long-term benefit is always good. Our decision is just the first step.  What we need to understand is that our current behaviour, the thing we want to alter, is an ingrained habit born out of experiences and beliefs. Most of these are subliminal that we don’t think to counter them. An example of this is social drinking: a lot of people think they cannot have an enjoyable time without alcohol. Test yourself in this by going to a party with the intention of enjoying yourself without drinking alcohol. So if we are on a weight-loss regime we may find it extremely difficult to cut out alcohol.

We are all different and there may be many concepts, beliefs or attitudes that we may first need to be changed in order to achieve our goal.

Good on you that you have set a goal! Now, may I suggest that you write out that goal on some stiff paper. Cut it out into the shape of a medal and hang it on your mirror with some ribbon. Everyday as you look at the mirror you will be reminded of your goal and will be keeping the vision alive.

Over the next few weeks I will be giving a series of tips, strategies and ways in which we will be able to achieve our goals. Then, one day we will be able to hang our ‘medal’ around our neck and not just on the mirror.