Don't keep your resolutions?
With the holidays just around the corner, it’s time to start looking ahead to the New Year. Your decision have to be genuinely motivated, do not do it on the spur of the moment. But wait! Before you start writing your list of New Year’s resolutions, get a load of this. A recent study led by Richard Wiseman, a psychologist at the University of Hertfordshire, claims that a whopping 78% of us don’t keep our resolutions. Fear not- help is on the way. To help you out with some of the most popular resolutions, here are a few tips and tricks to help you meet your goals and get rid of the guilt.
According to Time Magazine, 60% of gym memberships are wasted every year. In order to avoid being in that number, give yourself rewards for small victories like treating yourself to a pedicure for losing five pounds. Striving towards your goal in small increments keeps you from being overwhelmed by the bigger goal.
Besides, you shouldn’t see dramatic results overnight. On average, it takes about 4-6 weeks to see results from a newly implemented regular exercise program. Stay on track with a free lose it iphone app. There are variety of other apps, but this one works well.
The key to successful organization is choosing a method that is easy and fast for you to maintain. For example, using the calendar in your smart phone is a lot easier than having to open up a desktop-based program every time you make plans or schedule an appointment.
SAVE MONEY AND REDUCE DEBT
In this economy, more people than ever plan to cut expenses and pad their savings accounts. Eating a brown bag lunch for at least 4 days a week is an easy way to save. To keep your lunch interesting, exchange recipes with your friends or experiment with your old stand-bys. For example, try nutella spread and sliced bananas instead of peanut butter and jelly on your sandwich.
If your co-workers still insist that you go out to lunch with them, avoid ordering drinks and extras or simply eat before you go and enjoy coffee and dessert instead.
The average smoker attempts to quit four times before they succeed, and only 15% of those who quit remain smoke-free after 6 months. To beat these statistics, use nicotine patches, gum, and/or candy to curb cravings.
Also, many successful ex-smokers swear by the slightly painful “rubber band method.” To do this, snap a rubber band on your wrist whenever you have a craving. If you can stand the discomfort, your brain will eventually associate the craving with unpleasantness.
LEARN SOMETHING NEW
The biggest hurdle to this resolution is finding the time and staying motivated. Take a week to write down your daily schedule. Once you’re done, look for spots in your schedule where you could have multi-tasked to save an hour or two. Use that newfound time to take a class, read a how-to book, or visit a museum.
To maintain your thirst for knowledge, choose to learn something that truly interests you. For instance, if you like European films, audit a French class at your local community college. It also helps to set a fun goal like planning to watch a French film without the subtitles.
SPEND MORE TIME WITH LOVED ONES
Multi-task on this one and kill two birds with one stone. Invite your spouse or kids to join you as you work towards another goal. If you want to get fit, schedule a weekly family hike or a softball game.
Oftentimes, the problem with this resolution is that the diet is too extreme or restrictive to maintain on a regular basis. Instead of completely overhauling your diet on January 1st, focus on making one sustainable change each month. For example, strive to drink eight glasses of water a day for the month of January, then add to that change and eat dinner before 8 p.m. throughout February. Eat healthy-er, but allow yourself a special treat on Sundays. By December, you’ll definitely have a reason to be proud of yourself.
A new study also says that you’re more likely to have dieting success if you don’t tell people about it. Hearing their positive responses could subconsciously reward you with a feeling of accomplishment that takes away your brain’s desire to actually achieve something, so keep your diet on the down low!
Like the dieting resolution, the key to this one is moderation. If you are a heavy drinker, focus on cutting down instead of quitting cold turkey.
Another good trick to help you reduce alcohol intake is replacing the contents of your wine glass or a cocktail glass with something other than wine or hard liquor. The feeling of holding a glass is satisfactory enough, and more often than not, you will realize you drink out of thirst not out of need for the alcohol.
And the best part, you will feel fresh and rested in the morning. Alcohol dries out your skin, dehydrates and prevents you from having a good night sleep. Drinking a full glass of warm milk before bed helps relax and rest well.
This one falls by the wayside because our lives are already hectic and demanding enough. Instead of committing a large chunk of your time, start out by participating in a neighborhood clean-up day or serving at a local soup kitchen once a month. You’ll still get that warm, fuzzy feeling from doing a good deed.
ENJOY LIFE MORE
Studies show that it takes thirty days to change a habit. Commit to taking a minute to think of three things to be happy and grateful for every day. Before you know it, you’ll be feeling much happier and less stressed on a regular basis!
We gave you plenty to think about, but consider making only one resolution at a time. Same study shows that setting smaller goals has an average success rate of 35%, while making only one resolution at a time and treating occasional lapses in the plan as just temporary setbacks will increase you success rate to 50%. Enjoy every step of the way. Remember that life is about the journey, not the destination.