Rule your Resolution

Get your New Year off to the right start and realise your resolution in 2018

The start of a New Year is a great time to make a clean, fresh start and commit to achieving a new goal. However, most New Year’s resolutions often end in failure for a number of reasons. Make 2018 your year to shine with fitness mag’s top 12  tips to rule your New Year’s resolution.

Make it manageable

Your New Year’s resolution should be something that you can realistically achieve. However, that doesn’t mean it should be something that’s easy or requires minimal effort. The trick is to challenge yourself with a resolution that is challenging enough to keep you interested and hard enough that you can enjoy the feeling of accomplishment when you achieve it.

Get a plan

The best way to make those New Year’s resolutions a reality is to develop a comprehensive plan. Start by writing your resolution down, either on a piece of paper or storing it on your phone. Once you’ve identified your goals, you can plot a plan of action to determine how you’ll achieve them. It is always advisable that you seek advice from a professional like a personal trainer and/or dietitian when formulating your plan so that you know you’re on the right track to success.

Start as soon as possible

Don’t wait until February to start working towards your resolution. Start immediately as your motivation and enthusiasm can wane the longer you wait to start – and that also means you don’t need to wait until 1 January to get going. The sooner you start working towards achieving your resolution, the closer you are to achieving your goal.

Keep your goal within sight

Write down your goals and place them somewhere where you’ll constantly be ‘confronted’ by them. With this approach you’re forced to look at your resolutions, which helps to reaffirm your commitment and also lets you track your progress on a daily basis. You can also gauge what you’ve accomplished and what’s still to come. You’re more likely to succeed if you’re constantly reminded of your goals.

Set smaller goals

While you are on the path to achieving your overall resolution, make smaller goals that can be achieved along the way. These goals can be daily, weekly or monthly. The idea behind these small goals is that they can help keep you on track as you enjoy small successes along the road. These regular accomplishments will help to keep you motivated as you work towards achieving your bigger goal.

Reward yourself

Rewarding yourself for achieving milestones is a great motivational tool that can help to keep you working towards your goal. It may also inspire you to work harder as you know something special is waiting after all that hard work. Just remember, not every reward needs to be food based.

Create a system

Most successful resolutions are achieved when people use these goals to establish and entrench systems, rather than doggedly chase the final outcome. Ultimately, these system becomes what you do each day to progress towards your ultimate goal – it’s what people refer to when they say they changed their ‘lifestyle’. The key is to determine whether, if you completely ignored your goal and focused only on your system, would you still get the results? If the answer is ‘yes’, then you’ve succeeded in establishing a system and your resolution has become that much more attainable.

Positive reinforcement

Read inspirational books or surround yourself with people who are supportive. By doing this you’ll be more motivated to get out there and accomplish your goals in the New Year.

Make it public

Sharing your resolutions with your close friends and family makes you accountable to others, which means you’re more likely to accomplish your goals. Tell your friends, family and work colleagues about your resolutions. If people know about your goal they will ask you if you have achieved it yet or how your progress is going. This will force you to stick to what you set out to achieve at the beginning of the year.

Buddy up

Find someone who has a similar goal to you and work together to achieve it. Obstacles or problems are always easier to achieve when you have someone right beside you. Knowing that someone is waiting at the gym for your early morning session also means that you’re less likely to skip it. By partnering up you can also ensure that you both stay on track and you can help to motivate each another.

Don’t beat yourself up

Minor mishaps and setbacks will happen and are par for the course when trying to achieve anything worthwhile. But don’t let them get you down or derail your plans. Learn from them and find ways to avoid making the same mistake twice.

Re-evaluate

It’s always a good idea to regularly take a step back and see how far you have come. Regular weigh-ins, reviews of your diet diary or body fat measurements will provide proof that you are progressing. This is often all the motivation you need to keep going. It also shows you that you are that much closer to achieving your goal.

We make New Year’s resolutions to start new chapters in our lives and to resolve to change bad habits into good ones. Keeping a New Year’s resolution can give you an enormous feeling of accomplishment and satisfaction. They may be frivolous in the eyes of most people, but if used correctly a New Year’s resolution can be a powerful motivational tool for people to make meaningful changes in their lives.

Author: Mariska du Plessis

Mariska is the editor of Fitness Magazine, Bootcamp Instructor, Writer, Photographer and Wellness Blogger.

Follow her on Instagram: @justmariska_