Today is the fist working day for the new year and Happy 2014 to all. The festive mood is still lingering and it is normal to feel somewhat lethargic in starting work. You may also notice how you can't help but continue to write down the year as 2013 for your dates.
Habits are not something easy to change and I have a few tips here to help you stick to your new year resolutions what ever they may be.
1. Start (really, really) Small
Failure demotivates a person quickly especially of you are just starting out with the changes you want to make. Many people make the mistake of having difficult targets and after a few early failures, learned helplessness sets in and they give up (until next year). Starting really small helps you to succeed in your first step so that your mind will be naturally motivated to go on.
2. Go Slow
Keeping resolutions should not be a all-or-nothing process. Gradual improvements, starting with small successes, keep things sustainable. Have interim targets with a slow and gradual increase in the difficulty to achieve them. Remember, it's work in progress and you will get there!
3. Reward Yourself
Having success itself can be rewarding. However, you can further motivate yourself by reminding yourself of the good work you have done. This can be achieved by positive self talk and encouragement. You can buy yourself little treats every time you meet your targets to further reinforce the self encouragement.
4. Reward One Another
Where possible, work towards your resolution together with friends and family. Doing things together help you to improve camaraderie instead of taking you away from your loved ones. Motivate one another by supporting, praising and rewarding one another when targets are met.
5. Learn From Failures and Mistakes
You may have had the same resolution last year and maybe even the year before. Spend some time to take stock of things and think of why you did not achieve your targets the last few attempts or why you were not able to sustain these achievements. Often times, positive changes wax and wane and you may relapse back to the undesired behaviour. Learn from you past mistakes, look out for similar difficulties you may face this year and devise strategies in advance to over come them.