The advent of a new year has a powerful effect on the psyche; both individually and collectively within society. It's a time for simultaneously reflecting on the past year and looking forward to a fresh start. As with all new beginnings, we want to make good on the negative aspects of how we live; be it bad habits, toxic relationships or unbecoming behaviour traits.
While new year's resolutions are fuelled by good intentions; there is a tendency to get carried away and to set unrealistic goals in the hope that by some miracle you'll wake up with Jennifer Aniston's body. Reality check: You won't. And even with the most gruelling workout routine, you probably won't either because it's just not realistic.
However, you could be the fittest you've been in years and feel absolutely fabulous flaunting your well-earned abs come the summer, if you really start putting in the effort between now and next July. Will you, though? This is the question you need to ask yourself, and be completely honest.
Here are some ways of 'fail' safeguarding your new year's resolutions for 2019, which will lead to increased self-esteem and a real sense of satisfaction.
No vague one liners
"A goal without a plan is just a wish." We all wish that we were fitter, slimmer, didn't smoke and drink etc., but how exactly can we achieve these things? Glibly jotting down a wish list of the things that we would change about ourselves and then proceeding to carry on as normal will never get results and is why new year's resolutions are so notorious for failing.
First of all, be completely clear about what it is you aim to achieve and then include three actions that you will take to make it happen. If losing weight is your goal; decide how much and by when, what exercise you intend to do and how many times a week you will do this. Now that constitutes a resolution, not 'lose weight'.
Think positive, not punishment
Self improvement should be a positive journey of exploration and better understanding. Punishing yourself with rigid restrictions and beating yourself up with harsh criticism is only going to lead to rebellion and disbandment down the line. Treat yourself with respect and be kind.
Instead of banning things in your life, which is rarely effective long-term anyway, think of positive changes that you want to make. This could be home improvements, working on making the garden into a beautiful space, travelling somewhere, or doing an online course in something that you're passionate about.
Small and achievable goals
We are all driven by success and hate failure. It's important, therefore, to set small goals first and to build on your success. Think of yourself as a big kid. You wouldn't expect a small child to read a novel having just got to grips with the Biff, Chip and Kipper books. It would be unfair and unrealistic. Why then, do we set ourselves up to fail with ridiculous goals that aren't feasibly attainable?
Change it up from last year
If last year's resolutions didn't pan out, then don't set the same ones again. Even if they were successful, try to keep your goals fresh. The clue's in the name 'new' year's resolutions. By being creative and thinking of original aims for 2019; you immediately ignite a fire within yourself that could mean the difference between you having succeeded, or failed come February.