Monday, 14 January 2013

Making New Year's Resolutions That Stick

How familiar does the following scenario sound? The New Year comes around and you make a list of all the things you need to change - to lose weight, to stop smoking, to drink less. After sleeping off your Jan 1st hangover, you get up ready to kick some ass. For a few days you avoid alcohol, you only eat salads and you go to the gym. A few days, or weeks, later it all goes wrong. You find yourself craving that late-night cheeseburger more and more, and you find excuses for avoiding the gym (it's raining, your leg hurts, you don't quite have time, something more important came up...). You try to stay strong, but you fail, and within a few days you've gone back to exactly the way you were before. You think that New Year's Resolutions are pointless, or, worse, that you are weak-willed, a failure and unable to change. You might smile and think "Oh, well, this is just the way that I am!" and smoke your tenth cigarette of the morning with pride.

As you probably know - you're not alone. Many, or most, of my friends no longer believe in setting resolutions at the turn of the year; after all, they're not going to stick to them anyway. For those of us looking for an excuse to stay the same, writing off these promises to change as impossible to keep makes a nice excuse, but for those of us who genuinely want to better ourselves, it can seem frustrating. So what can we do to stick to our resolutions?