Replace, add or stop?
It’s Day Four of our Resolution Solutions, and today I’m looking at the different basic types of resolution, each of which has a specific form and its own extra set of tips for success.
If you’ve already come up with some ideas for resolutions or projects in 2019, you’ve chosen the right ones for your own personal reasons, and you’ve had a think about whether your chosen challenges are manageable, it’s time to move on to how to tackle different types of resolution.
The ‘give it up’ resolution
Thinking about giving something up for the New Year? This is one of the most popular types of resolution, and while they can be very good for your wellbeing you may also benefit from thinking ahead or getting some extra support.
Sometimes it’s about breaking an old, outdated pattern of behaviour that will eventually free up your time and resources, making room for better things. This could be anything from watching less TV to taking a month or more off buying clothes, or stopping eating takeaways.
Alternatively it could be about breaking a bad habit that’s starting to concern you (excessive social media scrolling, gaming, shopping, overworking when you don’t need to), or it might involve breaking an addiction (smoking, alcohol, drugs, gambling, etc).
- Identify your triggers – what makes this negative behaviour more likely? Do you need to do anything extra to avoid these triggers or lessen their effect? For example, if you’re trying to give up smoking, do you need to avoid going down the pub for the next four weeks too?
- Extra support – if this is a badly ingrained, damaging habit or an addiction, do you need extra help? Your GP may be able to help, or you could look up a charity such as GamCare. More information, a support group or treatment could make all the difference.
The ‘start it up’ resolution
It’s a great time of year for starting something new. What do you want to do? The world’s your oyster and you could soon be doing anything from training to run a marathon to starting up your own business, or planning a round the world trip. If you’re adding in some new activities to your schedule then consider the following:
- Free up some time – does this require a regular time commitment? Can you free up time by watching less TV, getting out during your lunch break, deleting some social media apps, or giving an hour of lie in at the weekend?
- Think about equipment or funding you might need – do you need some new trainers for a fitness regime, or to find a way to raise some money for seed capital, or paying for a course or travelling? Do you need to re-draw your monthly budget?
- Can you ‘automate’ it? – This might mean booking in for regular classes (art, fitness, academic, learning to drive etc), setting up a direct debit to start a brand new savings habit, and so on.
The ‘add it in’ resolution
Do you feel like you’re part of the way there with something already, and your resolution is something extra that’s going to build on it?
Maybe you’re a good cook, but this is the year you want to learn to bake amazing bread. Perhaps you want to gain an extra professional qualification to progress your career, or to join an extra class at your gym on Fridays.
- Try adding it to existing good habits – can you ‘chain’ it to something you already do? This could be anything from doing some extra sit-ups when you exercise to taking your vitamins after breakfast or before cleaning your teeth.
The ‘every day’ resolution
Is your resolution something you need to do on a daily basis? Is it something to avoid, such as cigarettes, or something new to do regularly, such as meditation, reading or exercise?
- Think about your day – how can you set it up to avoid something or ensure you do it?
- Is there an app you can use, a diary you can start, or a chart you can fill in to motivate you or track your progress? These can all help to set up good everyday habits.
The ‘start to finish’ resolution
While some habits need to start on a daily basis and continue in an unbroken chain, other resolutions and projects have a specific end point. This can be a project with a time limit, such as getting ready for a bike race or eating vegan food for a month, or it can be a resolution that ends when you’ve completed a task, such as reading 50 books or swimming 100 miles in total.
- Map it out – if you know what the specific end point to your project will be, can you create a detailed plan to help achieve your goal? It’s less daunting if you have a ‘road map’.
- Consider teaming up – are there friends you can train with on a regular basis, or online resources such as GoodReads where you can share your progress with likeminded people? This can be a fantastic way to keep yourself motivated.
Which one of these categories do your 2019 resolutions fall in to? Try one or more of the category tips to make them more likely to succeed.
Join me again tomorrow for ideas to help define and achieve that success.