New Years Resolutions


During the start of the New Year most people make resolutions about lifestyle changes - mainly covering smoking cessation, exercise, eating habits, coping with stress at work etc.

However, still filled with good intentions, by January 3rd these resolutions either fail or falter. This article aims to add support to your New Year or not-so-New Year's resolutions.

What the experts say
Experts have shown that designing a detailed plan you will dramatically increase your success rate. For example, a crew cannot construct a building without a detailed plan. Why should you view your health program any differently?

Recording your personal baseline
A baseline is a measurement of the existing behaviour and noting when and how often that behaviour occurs before treatment. Examples include, how often and when a person uses tobacco, or eats high calorie foods, or displays outbursts of anger. The baseline measurement of the behaviour, will helps you set realistic goals and identify future improvement levels.

A trigger is simply anything that causes or increases the likelihood of behaviour. Therefore, if we know when and what is motivating behaviour, we can create future interventions by planning alternative coping mechanisms.

Learn by looking at your past
If you have attempted to change your behaviour in the past but have not succeeded, what exactly went wrong? What will be different this time? Therefore, when you previously tried to reach a goal, you should have learned something about yourself and the behaviour, which can be applied, to your new attempt.

Plan specifically for stress management
Two of the most frequently cited reasons for personal failure are inadequate time management and/or increased levels of stress. Changing behaviour is hard enough without the additional difficulty of trying to balance out work, interpersonal relationships, family, and everyday life situations. Unfortunately, when things get stressful, people often relapse back to their old unhealthy behaviour's. Knowing this ahead of time, you must plan and prepare strategies for such future events.

Develop a support system for your resolution
Research concludes that the people who succeed at making lifestyle changes typically have exceptional support systems. Consequently, telling others about your goals and objective increases your accountability to the behaviour. From the very start, your should begin by telling those around you about your fitness program, this way you will increase your likelihood of success by enlisting greater levels of support. This contract will not only increase the support of those around you but it will also makes your commitment public and help to convince both you and others that you are serious about this change.

As part of the strategy explained above, initiate ways to increase the involvement of others in your efforts. For example, you could always lure a friend into joining and committing to behaviour with you. Having someone to workout with or quit chewing tobacco can drastically boost your success rate. No matter if it a spouse, boyfriend/girlfriend, roommate, co- worker, or even an acquaintance, being accountable to someone other than yourself will help to keep you on track.

The program for success and maintenance
With any new venture or attempt it is imperative to have the right mental attitude. For instance, winners always have the mindset that their goals are possible and within reach. Not everyone has this positive outlook, but it can be improved through both positive self-talk and visualization. Thus, you must visualize yourself already achieving your new lifestyle. You must develop a mental image of who you want to become and then act as if you are that person. See yourself as a nonsmoker, as a fit - healthy person, as an emotionally pleased human being.

Reward yourself frequently

Starting an exercise regimen can be physically and mentally draining, with few immediate results. An effective coping method would be to link an alternate activity that you find personally rewarding with your exercises. Therefore, you should find something to look forward to that can be combined or achieved with your exercise program. Choose something that makes you feel intrinsically great about your exercise commitment and you will increase you chances of success. Whether it is a deserving massage, hot tub, or a satisfying healthy meal, your behaviour needs reinforcement so you can feel good about your effort.

Provide a Visual Record
Another way to increase your success and motivation is to keep a visual record of your accomplishments. This can be done by simply writing on a calendar or using a daily progress chart. : Although, most people today choose to track their achievements and setbacks by writing in a daily journal. The journal works because it further holds you accountable to your daily behaviours. Therefore, if you write about your efforts, then you are more likely to follow through on your goals.

Additional information

Stressbusters - Learn to relax in a few easy steps
Coping with the holiday season stress
Breathing techniques for relaxation
Buy books on women's health and lifestyle



Print Email Favourites    

© 2000-2014
All information on this website is for information only. offers no medical advice or information. Always consult your GP before undertaking any form of weight loss, fitness or exercise