When we wake up on the first day of the year, with resolutions fresh in our mind, we feel unbeatable. But 365 days is a long challenge and we’re often ready for a sprint rather than a marathon. Follow these tips to stay on track:
Make it achievable
12 months is a long time! Try reducing the timeframe – set yourself the challenge of completing a month or two and see how you get on. It might even set you up for a longer period; according to psychologist James Dean’s research, it takes up to 66 days to form a new habit, after which it becomes embedded in your routine and easier to follow.
There’s an app for that
Make sure you’re reminded of your New Year’s resolution every day! As well as notifications, there are a number of apps that track your activity and give you handy reports. Try Productive, Habit-bull or Streaks. If your goals are fitness related try MyFitnessPal or Strava.
Peer pressure makes us stay at a new habit for longer, and when we have a support group to cheer us on it seems a lot easier. Let a few friends know what you’re hoping to achieve and ask them to keep you on track. You could also share your plans on social media or start a blog that tracks your progress. It’s a lot harder to give up when people are watching!
Use the power of science
Charles Duhigg’s book The Power of Habit identifies three features of a successful habit – cue, routine and reward. If you crack all three you’ll produce solid habits that set you up for the year. For example, if your New Year’s resolution includes not using disposable coffee cups, the cue would be leaving your reusable cup on the kitchen side every morning, ready to take with you. The routine would be ordering the coffee and handing over your cup. The reward would be a combination of the great taste of coffee and the satisfaction of knowing you’re making a difference.
Resolutions that can change the world
Are you looking for New Year resolution ideas? Here are a few that have a hugely positive impact on our global neighbours:
Fashion – either choose to only shop with ethical brands or try only buying clothes from charity shops. Both ideas will help us consider the people across the world who produce our clothes who are sometimes exploited.
Waste – whether it’s plastic, food or other waste, overproducing the things we need has a negative impact on our planet, and the people living on it. Stop using disposable plastics, become a first class food waste chef, or
Climate – reduce your carbon footprint and lessen the impact of climate change. You could consider how often you fly, use transport or eat meat – all three have big impacts on our environment.
We’d love to hear how your resolutions are going. Let us know on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook – search @WeAreTearfund. You can also sign-up for emails to get lifestyle tips straight to your inbox throughout 2018.