New Year’s resolutions

Make sure your New Year's resolution lasts more than a minute.

Pint of beer and stubbed out cigarettes

Goodbye fun stuff.

Is the time right?

If you’re deciding to give up/shape up/clean up your life, then you have to be 100% sure the time is right for you. Just because January is the most obvious time to make resolutions, it doesn’t mean that you’ll stick to them. There’s no point making New Year’s resolutiosn if you don’t even think you’ll make it through the day.

Tip: Be true to yourself. If you don’t feel ready, spend a while longer getting your head around it.

New Year can be a nightmare

Everyone flirts with a resolution at the start of another New Year, but in some ways the chances of sticking with it are stacked against you. Why? Because you’ll only compare yourself with others, whether you like it or not, and when your mates start to fail it’s too easy to justify following in their footsteps.

Tip: If you’re serious about shaping up your life, why not find a date that isn’t so loaded with expectation – one which you can work towards on your own terms?

Prepare yourself

Let’s face it, there’s no point going into your Diet D-Day with a fridge still stuffed with mince pies, or squirreling away your ciggies before giving up (just in case!). The greater the temptation, the quicker you’ll screw up.

Tip: Before the big day, clear your environment of anything that could weaken your resolve. You don’t want to be reminded that you’re on a vice vacation. And if you think your conviction might crumble, make sure you’ve set yourself up with a way to get through it. Think fresh fruit instead of French fancies. A carrot instead of a cigarette. A glass of water instead of another beer.

Overcome the impossible

Giving up anything that’s played such an important part in your life is going to hurt. It’ll be like bereavement, in some ways, and there are bound to be times when your resolve threatens to fall apart. Often when you think you’re over the worst.

Tip: Don’t lose sight of the fact that masses of people have been in your position, and gone on to conquer their bad habits. The key is to set yourself up with strategies for overcoming those inevitable moments of weakness, from talking things through with a mate to taking up an activity that’ll keep your mind occupied.

Stay focused

As you see out the old year, and see in the new, don’t look at a lifetime without drink/drugs/cigarettes/chocolates/swearing. It’s enough to freak out the most resolute quitters, and you’ll only be tempted to give up on giving up.

Tip: Focus on getting through the next minute, hour, day and then week. The further you can go, the easier it will get.


Next Steps

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Updated on 29-Sep-2015

Photo of beer and cigarettes by Shutterstock.