So January is almost over. You’ve had four weeks to stick with your New Year Resolutions. How are you doing?
If you’re struggling, remember that a few slips do not equal total failure. If you’ve had a couple of unhealthy meals they’re not going to undo all of the other healthy eating you’ve done, and if you’ve missed a workout or two, there’s always next week to get yourself back to the gym and catch up. So if you’ve had a bad day, just make tomorrow a good one, and you’ll be back on track. You’ve only failed if you choose to give up.
Try to remember why you made that resolution in the first place. Remind yourself daily of what you are aiming at and how much it will mean to you when you get there.
You might also want to mind your language. Most resolutions are about giving something up – “I am giving up alcohol for January”, “I am not eating chocolate”, or “I am going to stop procrastinating”. All of these are negative statements, and if you only talk about what you are giving up, you are bound to feel deprived. Try to replace negative statements with a positive version – for instance, instead of “I’m not drinking for the whole of January” say “I’m having a healthy January and concentrating on raising my energy levels”. This shifts the focus from what you are missing to the benefits you’ll enjoy.
Finally, ask yourself if you’ve taken on too much? How many resolutions did you make? January is a dark and depressing month and putting yourself under too much pressure with too many resolutions can be a recipe for failure. If you’ve committed to eating more healthily and exercising regularly, that’s a lot of change in one go. Consider tackling just one of those at a time. I’d recommend that eating comes first – spend a month or two cleaning up your diet and you’ll be better nourished and more energised to take on an exercise regime later.
Stick with it, and be kind to yourself. Permanent change is hard, and many people have several attempts at things before they finally succeed. Understand the reasons you’re struggling, stop blaming yourself for a lack of willpower, then keep going.