What to do before making New Year’s resolutions

Ok, so it’s that time of year, time to re-evaluate, reassess and hit refresh on our new-found, or carry on goals. To be honest, I don’t LOVE the term New Year resolutions. I’m all about setting yourself SMART achievable goals that will serve you in a positive way. To get your head around the strategising of goals, and making them stick, here you’ll find useful info on what to do before making New Year resolutions. I’ll cover the steps you need to take before diving into goal setting and how to make them happen!

Take a moment to write down your current New Year goals on a piece of paper. No doubt they are similar to last year and may involves goals such as:

  • Lose 3 kg
  • Stop smoking
  • Eat less junk food (to lose 3 kg)
  • Work less and have more balance

Tick, tick, tick…tick! If only it were that easy. We are all guilty of this. So let’s not do the same thing again. Before you even think about moving forward you need to do a little reflection. Look Back! This is the time to get real and honest with yourself. No excuses and no blame – just 100% responsibility for the results in your life right now.

If you mention time – remember there is no such thing as a lack of time only a lack of priorities. What did you prioritise over your own health, fitness and wellbeing? Did you attend Friday work drinks far too often over an early Saturday morning training session? List all the choices you made that prevented you from getting the results you desired.

What unhealthy habits do I have?

Does your snooze button make a regular appearance? Are you a work-a-holic giving all your time and energy to prove your abilities, yet neglecting the most important person, yourself?

What unhealthy behaviours do I have?

Do you regularly sit on the couch after work instead of taking yourself off to that Yoga class, just because you are just too tired. No excuses remember – look at why you are tired in the first place; are you eating well, sleeping enough, setting boundaries?

Now I’m no fortune-teller but I’m guessing self-talk won the battle a number of times. It kept you in bed pressing the snooze button… after you decided you would start looking after yourself tomorrow. Yep, note down your inner mean girl thoughts too.

Reflecting over your thoughts, actions and decisions provides insight and awareness into what needs to be changed so you can move forward differently in the New Year.

If you don’t transform internally…nothing changes externally.

Let go of your STOP doing list!

Now let’s think about what you really want. Above I listed four common New Years resolutions. The problem is these are predominantly negative. They are all about deprivation. Such as wanting to stop eating junk so you can lose 3 kg or quit smoking so you can be healthier. It’s difficult to just stop a habit or certain behaviour that you find enjoyable on some level – whether it’s good for you or not, right?

The moment you think about stopping – you feel deprived.

Let’s take chocolate cake as an example. Your New Year goal is to stop eating junk food but when a chocolate cake comes around the office all you can think about is not eating it (deprivation). We don’t move towards negative, we move away from it – and hence you eat the chocolate cake because it’s more enjoyable than ignoring it. That’s just human behaviour.

So what is the solution?

Your new choices need to feel more positive than your current behaviours.

Losing 3 kg may seem positive – yet to get there you may be dreading working out or hating the fact you need to give up your morning banana bread. Remember this…

When you create your New Year’s Resolutions…

  • Ensure they are from a place of gain not deprivation
  • Ensure they are aligned with your values
  • Ensure they will result in a fulfilling daily lifestyle
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