New Year Resolutions notoriously fail to last despite the start of a New Year repeatedly shown as a motivational trigger for activities related to self-improvement. Google searches for diet, gym attendance and use of gym-support websites are highest in January and decline month by month over the year. The most common resolutions every year are weight loss and increasing fitness, quitting smoking, learning something new, eating healthier, reducing debt and saving money, spending more time with the family, travelling more, being less stressed, volunteering and drinking less alcohol.  Some tips towards keeping those resolutions are by making the resolutions:

1. Measurable: setting a goal, writing it down and smaller steps towards the goal will help achieving them, for example I am going to lose weight by walking for 30 minutes every day and reducing my calorie intake by 500 per day. If your goal is to run a marathon, starting by regularly walking and preparing muscles and tendons and a regular exercise habit.

2. Relevant: your goal needs to be relevant to your long term goals

3. Measurable: set a range for amount of exercise or weight to lose rather than a very specific amount has been demonstrated to be more effective by making the goal more challenging and more achievable.  Recording progress also acts as encouragement and aid compliance

4. Achievable: does your goal fit in with your lifestyle, is it practical, do you have the skills to achieve it? If you dislike gym, don?t sign up to an expensive gym programme. Review the goals and adjust as necessary. provide healthy rewards to yourself for achieving small steps towards our goals. Forcing yourself on to a restrictive diet is not possible to maintain long term, but swapping fruit for snacks and taking lunch from home rather than take-away is more possible.

5. Set a deadline: make a set date to achieve your goal and the steps towards it

Some researchers believe that it is possible to overwhelm willpower and self-discipline by attempting too much change at once and suggest for success exercising willpower in the way muscles are exercised, carefully with small changes will result in increased inner strength.

Seek encouragement from family, work colleagues and friends to help support you particularly when you are struggling. Having a partner to quit smoking with or lose weight with has proven advantages. One research study found signing up for a weight loss programme with friends and having the social support reinforced over time resulted in an increase from 75% to 95% course completion

Website forums and social media can be a way of meeting others with the same goals and with whom you can swap tips and hints towards those goals.


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