I know its July but seriously how’s it going?

Chances are it is now just a distant memory but why? With ¾ of new year’s resolutions failing why do we make them? Why can’t we keep them? Why is it just once a year?

The time period to make a psychological change is twelve weeks – that is to develop a new habit you need to actively enforce it (and enjoy it to some degree) for 12 weeks before it becomes part of your everyday life. Ever wondered why the probationary period at a new job is 3 months? The psychology of change is the answer!

So with that knowledge in mind we could be aiming for four new resolutions every year. So you have two chances left to make 2 extra, positive changes to your life and wellbeing before the new year even arrives. What could you choose? How can you make it work this time?

The top 3 new year’s resolutions according to a recent comRes poll are to:

  1. Exercise more (38%)
  2. Lose weight (33%)
  3. Eat more healthily (32%)

Strangely all arguably interlinked.

This is unfortunately our first crippling hurdle. We set quite grandiose statements of our resolutions but we don’t plan HOW we are going to achieve them.

So here’s a few tips:

  1. Set a measurable goal. E.g. I will save £2000 this year, I will lose 12 lbs in 3 months or I will be able to run 10km in 6 months.
  1. Break it down – set yourself smaller stepping stone goals that lead to your main goal, this will help to keep you motivated.
  1. Assess – is your goal realistically achievable?
  1. Why? Why this goal? You need to be motivated to achieve the goal you set so what is going to keep you focused during a challenging patch (and it will happen!)that could take you off course? E.g. I want to save £2000 to visit family in a different country so I will give up on going out 1 night a month.
  1. Record it! Make yourself accountable. By writing it down you are making a commitment to yourself. Then put it in places where you will see it regularly; on the back of the front door, key holder or the kettle.

Just a last food for thought – when did your last new year’s resolution include improving your mental health?

I’ll see you in twelve weeks to see if you hit your summer resolution and set your Halloween one!