New Year’s resolutions. Many of us make them year after year, and some stick, and others don’t last past January. Research has found there’s around an 88 per cent failure rate of seeing resolutions through.
Maybe you want to get fit, quit smoking, learn a language or how to cook, pay off your credit card, eat less chocolate or call your mum more.
Most years, my goal is simply to get and stay fit but I rarely think about how I’m going to achieve that aside from saying I’ll go to the gym more regularly. I never quantify it or set any goals – obviously setting myself up for failure.
Reading up on how to keep your new year’s resolutions, most sites recommend keeping them realistic and with manageable outcomes; writing down your resolutions; and telling friends what you hope to achieve so they can help motivate you. But apparently it also takes more than two months to form a new habit so don’t expect fast results.
Writing down a resolution is solid advice – it’s satisfying ticking something off your list – and it makes sense that keeping goals realistic and outcome driven will help you achieve them. I also like the idea of breaking goals into ‘chunks’. For example, getting fit is a big but vague goal. Breaking it into chunks such as going to the gym for an hour at least three times a week or running 5km in less than 30 minutes is a lot more achievable and you’ll be able to clearly see your progress as you go.
So here goes – my new year’s resolutions are to aim to go to the gym for an hour at least four days a week and try to do a fitness activity such as hiking or a walk around the lake each weekend. And I’ll aim to call my mum at least once a fortnight, and complete a minimum of one professional development course this year.
Being realistic, I know that eating less chocolate is not going to happen – you have to have some pleasures in life and hopefully I’ll work some of it off with those gym sessions!
Why not ask your friends to join you in your New Year’s resolutions? Join a bootcamp together or go to night school to learn Italian. I know that if someone is waiting for me to come to bootcamp it’s a great motivator to get me out of bed at 6am.
If you need inspiration, a quick Google search revealed that there’s plenty of bootcamps spread across the ACT, so take your pick. ParkRun – a timed 5km run at Tuggeranong and Lake Ginninderra is also a good motivator. It’s a free event held every Saturday at 8am. Get together some friends and aim to beat your time each week.
If you want to learn to cook, there are classes ranging from one day sessions at the Fyshwick markets teaching you how to cook meals from a specific cuisine, to classes spanning several weeks. Language classes are also aplenty across Canberra in languages such as German, French and Italian.
While you’re planning next year’s goals, remember to take some time to reflect on 2014. You might surprise yourself on what you’ve achieved, revel in the adventures you’ve had or new friends you’ve made, or it might help motivate you towards your next goal if you didn’t quite achieve what you set out to do.
Happy New Year!
What are your New Year’s resolutions or tips to keeping motivated to achieve your goals?