How to Make and Keep Your New Year's Resolutions in 2022
It's been an unusual, uncertain couple of years we have all faced together during 2020 and 2021.
Last Christmas was cancelled, but families and loved ones were fortunately able to see in this New Year together.
Although still far from normal, at least this year hasn't started off locked down and boarded up, so people are still able to move freely and do the things they want, albeit with caution.
Traditionally, New Year's resolutions are usually about keeping fit, losing weight, joining the gym, being healthier etc., as well as other things such as learning a new skill or language, starting a new hobby, or saving money.
The origins of this ancient tradition are said to go back almost 4000 years when Babylonians promised their Gods to pay their debts at the beginning of every year. Then the Romans also began each year by making promises to their Gods, and thus started the resolution parade.
Over time, it evolved into an idea to set goals to essentially improve or enrich your life, but although over 60% of people partake in the tradition, less than 10% are able to keep their promises.
Deciding to make positive changes in your life can only be a good thing, so HÖRFA have attempted to put together a few pointers to hopefully help you achieve your aims.
Set Realistic Goals
Don't set yourself a up for a fall. Ensure your aims are realistic.
Ever heard of SMART? It stands for Specific; Measurable; Attainable; Relevant; Timely. It's an acronym used a lot in business as well in the fitness industry too.
To explain simply, it's the difference between stating, "I will join a gym and get fit!" compared to "I will exercise for one hour twice a week."
The latter is a very achievable goal and one that can even be surpassed.
Sometimes it's better to be specific with your aims rather than vague.
If you set your goals smaller, more specific and attainable, there's no reason why you can't expand on that later to push yourself even further past what you set out to achieve.
It works in all areas, so instead of declaring, "I'm going to save money to buy a house in 2022," perhaps try something a little bit more exact such as, "I will save £500 per month for three months." You are then setting yourself a clear and feasible target, and, again, one that you could re-evaluate and even increase if successful over time.
Dry January is an increasingly popular trend, where the participant will not touch a single drop of alcohol for the first 31 days of the year. It's probably a good idea after such an indulgent week of Christmas and New Year celebrations, but the problem with fads like these is that it's all or nothing.
The benefits of a dry month are likely limitless, but it's also very final and unnegotiable. Instead of such drastic eradication, it would be far more beneficial, realistic and maintainable if you decide to cut down dramatically instead of going completely tee-total.
There would be very little difference between a fully dry month compared to a month where you have cut down from a usual amount of, say, 11 or 12 nights of drinking alcohol right down to just two or three nights only. The health benefits are still equally present and effective for both options.
Also, imagine having your birthday on January 30th and nearly all your friends are taking part in Dry January?!! And imagine being one of those friends invited for a night out with just one more day to go to accomplish your goal, but having to deny yourself completely during a special occasion. There could even be a close friend or family member getting married in January, so don't create a situation where you are restricted entirely.
The last point to make, and perhaps the most important, on this subject is that there's usually an unsettling pattern after denying yourself of something for so long. Anyone who has ever given up chocolate for Lent will tell you it follows with a binge during Easter!
So the message here is to reduce and not renounce!
Get Into Good Habits
Humans are creatures of habit, and those habits are almost unconscious and entirely ingrained into us. We do many things during the day without even having to think about them, such as closing the freezer door with a foot, or clicking your neck or knuckles, even scratching.
Most habits are so natural and deep-seated that they are incredibly hard to change. For example, how many of you immediately reach for something sweet to eat after dinner? It happens without thought.
So, the idea behind this part is to encourage good habits.
So, you have set the goal to get fit in the New Year. Now try to incorporate good habits into your lifestyle to achieve that. For example, go for a 10 minute brisk walk straight after mealtimes to walk a few of those calories off, or drop down and do 10 press ups every time you exit the bathroom at home, or a few small exercises or stretches when showering every morning.
When you build these good habits into your daily routines, they eventually become almost mindless. Imagine being able to do 100 press ups every day without even thinking about it!
Remind yourself daily of your goals in order to stay on track.
You could have a screensaver on your phone or tablet, something that you see regularly to constantly keep you motivated and resolute.
You could even go public and make a daily status update on your socials, "Hitting the gym at 8pm tonight! No excuses!" Now you have put it down in writing, you have almost booked it, in your head.
On the same subject, perhaps there's a friend or family member that you could share your goals with who may help to keep you on track too, with regular checks on how you're getting on. Any support will always help.
HÖRFA would like to wish you all the very best with your New Year's Resolutions, whatever they may be.
Keep on track, don't punish yourself if you falter, and reward yourself when you've accomplished something, however small or big it may be.
Good luck and Happy New Year!
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