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Happy You Year

Leap into 2023 with real resolutions – and make them stick


On 1st January across the world, millions of us made ambitious promises to ourselves. We’ll get healthy, go to the gym, drink less wine and eat more greens. We plan to be perfect.

However, many of us have already started falling off the wagon; maybe you are struggling with Dry January more than you expected, or rapidly losing your enthusiasm to do more exercise? You are not alone.

Although it can be difficult not to fall into a cycle of guilt about breaking these commitments, we need to remember this is ultimately unhelpful for our motivation and of course, no good for our mental health.

Resolutions are a healthy way to reboot your life – but you need to keep them real.

Sustained effort is key to success. The secret is to fashion long-term, achievable goals that contribute towards your health and happiness. Here’s how:


Quality not quantity

Instead of abandoning your resolutions entirely, try to take a step back and pick one or two resolutions that you feel you can realistically achieve. It is much better to only make one or two goals that you can actually accomplish, rather than ten resolutions that you will not stick to.


Baby steps

Taking one step forward is infinitely better than standing still. If your guest room looks shabby, clear out the clutter as a start. You might dream of a complete redesign and redecoration, but why wait until you have enough money and time? Getting rid of those crusty magazines and broken children’s toys can make all the difference in the meantime and gives you something to proudly tick off your list!


Focus on pleasure, not pain

Diets are a common New Year goal, but there is no need to turn your meal time into a punishment to be endured. Sustainable, health-boosting plans, such as a low GL way of eating or a Mediterranean diet are fun, affordable and delicious. Many people associate ‘eating healthily’ with deprivation, rather than delight. Turn those thoughts around – each healthy bite you’re choosing is a gift to yourself.



If it isn’t broken…why fix it?

Perhaps you’re feeling content with life ‘as is’ right now, so don’t fall into the trap of confusing ‘wants’ with ‘needs’. Modern society is aspirational – everything must be bigger and better. Sometimes, though, things are lovely just as they are. That’s where gratitude comes in. Be grateful for the most insignificant bits of your life. Each act or thought of gratitude eventually fills your happiness tank.


Involve Others

Tell a friend about your resolution. Voicing the possibility for change makes it more likely to happen. If you can rope a friend into keeping you accountable, so much the better.

Remember you don’t have to go it alone either. There are groups for almost everything, and it’s worth trying to find people who are aiming for the same thing as you. For example, Parkrun organises coordinated runs in parks all over the country every weekend.


Disconnect

Whilst keeping abreast of current affairs is important to most, you’re far more inclined to feel out of control, unhappy and blue if you’re constantly bombarded with bad news. Try to have an information-free day a week. Social media can be addictive and taking a break from this too can work wonders for the way you feel.


Record it

Seeing your resolutions written down increases your chances of sticking to them. Have them ‘in your face’, where you can read them daily. Try putting them on the fridge, in your daily diary or as your phone home screen.


Celebrate the wins

The slightest improvement is worthy of recognition! Be proud of and acknowledge what you’ve achieved, no matter how small. Drinking three extra glasses of water a day, or de-cluttering a corner of the living room, are as much steps in the right direction as clinching a directorship at work.


Resolutions can be made whenever you like

Missing the gym for a week, or ordering a pizza isn’t “game over” for your resolutions. Although we have the tradition of making resolutions on 1st January, this doesn’t mean that personal change should be limited to this time of the year. We are capable of making changes in our life whenever we please and can recommit to (or create new) resolutions at any time.


Explore, expand, experiment

Perhaps you have no idea where you’re headed. That’s okay. Treat the New Year as a chance to work out what makes you happy - and how to get there. This might be a good time to bring out the bucket list and tick something off. You never know what’s out there (and inside you) until you give it a go!


Make this year YOUR year

Prioritise your mental and physical wellbeing, and sort out those niggling health concerns you've been putting off.


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