So, here we are, hurtling towards the end of January and many a New Year’s Resolution lies in tatters. I gave up doing these years ago for this very reason, I kept failing by the end of January. A lot of New Year’s Resolutions focus on giving up stuff (losing weight or other plans to stop doing something) rather than starting to do something positive but even the most positive plans often fall by the way-side once the novelty wears off.
I make plans for what I want to get done in the following year during December but by the end of January these can sometimes need a bit of a pick me up – the weather is usually crappy, I’m trying to avoid catching the lurgy from everyone sneezing, the dogs are rioting as bad weather means less fun outside and it can all be, well frankly, a bit meh.
So time to find a bit of motivation, for me that usually involves naffing off the mountains snowboarding for a week, which gives me something good to focus on, a bit of renewed vigour and some exercise. I also tend to come up with a shed load of ideas when I get out of the office – the brain craves novelty and as a result I usually come back from any change of scenery with a notebook full of things to do.
Below are some of the key things I use to keep the enthusiasm going…
Celebrate the good times
A couple of years back I started writing a good things diary – looking for at least one positive thing from every day and writing it in a notebook, looking back on these small wins and good times reminds me that there is always something good going on and seeing the little steps that took me further forward to some of the bigger goals. Recent research has supported the idea of practiced gratitude as being a fantastic way to help maintain a positive mind set and help to move forward.
Recognise the progress that you made
Where were you a year ago? 6 months ago? In relation to where you are now and where you want to be? Celebrate the progress and then move on to the next milestone. Monitor your successes in a visual way – a chart, ticked off list or similar so that you can see how far you have come – having a visual reminder of progress is a powerful tool to help you celebrate on your results so far.
Don’t aim to climb the mountain at once
Create little target points on the way to your goal and then reward yourself for achieving them, rewards don’t have to be big and expensive, (alcoholic or calorific!) they could be as simple as taking an afternoon off and doing something you love. These help you to see progress (as well as giving you something to write in your good things book) and not get disheartened at the size of the goal in front of you.
Don’t compare yourself to others
You are you, they are them and you have your own plan. Particularly with resolutions like weight loss or getting fit, it is easy to fall off your path if others fail. Using tools like visualisation to keep your end result in sight or working with a personal trainer to keep getting you to do your exercise routine can help to keep you going when other people’s efforts fall by the wayside.
Or if all else fails I recommend throwing yourself down a mountain in some fresh air.