3 Steps To Get Back On Track With Your New Year's Resolutions

01/02/23 – Blog

Now that January is over (we know, we can’t believe how fast it went either!), many of us will be looking back ruefully on the new year’s resolutions we made at the start of last month and wondering what went wrong.

If you’ve already started to let your resolutions slide, follow our tips below to help you get back on track!

Step 1 – Work out your ‘why’

The first step is to try and better understand both why you made your resolutions in the first place and what’s happened (or not happened) over the last four weeks that’s stopped you pursuing them.

Start by making a list of the resolutions you haven’t managed to stick to so far. Are there any overarching themes that link them? For example, if we take the top three most popular resolutions in the UK for 2023 (exercise more and improve fitness, lose weight, and improve diet), we can see that the key theme behind them all is ‘be more healthy’.

Once you’ve identified the common thread, spend some time thinking about your motivation. What are your reasons for wanting to improve your health? Is it to have more energy? To help improve your mental wellbeing? To feel stronger? Write them all down on a piece of paper and stick it somewhere you’ll see it every day.

Next, take a moment to interrogate what has stopped you sticking with your resolution so far. Is it due to a lack of organisation or opportunity? Perhaps you’ve not found time to plan or prepare that week’s worth of healthy meals you kept intending to make or you’re struggling to get up early enough to make that pre-work gym class? Or is it due to simply feeling overwhelmed or not knowing where to start? Whatever the issues are, note them down.

If the reason you haven’t stuck with your resolution is because the motivation behind it isn’t strong enough or aligned with how you really feel (perhaps it’s something you think you should be doing rather than want to be doing) or you’re unsure that it will actually help you achieve your ‘why’, you might need to have a rethink and reset your resolutions before taking the next step.


Step 2 – Break it down and make a plan

Now you’ve got your motivation for your resolution clear and you know what’s been stopping you committing to it, you can make a plan to help you begin moving forward again.

Try to scale back what you want to achieve by when. Remember, you’ve got a whole 11 months left to work on your resolution, so it’s OK to start small, take it slow and go day by day.

Sticking with the above examples, if planning and preparing a week’s worth of meals in one go doesn’t feel feasible right now, then set yourself an easier target. Maybe you could take a bunch of fruit in to work on Monday to substitute for your daily mid-morning chocolate snack, or decide to replace your Friday night takeaway this week with a healthier home-cooked version? Or if getting to that gym class today just seems like too much effort, commit to doing a 10-minute online workout video at home or going for a 20-minute walk on your lunchbreak instead.

Making lots of small but positive changes over time feels less overwhelming than making one or two huge changes all at once and will still add up to help you to reach your overall goal. Action begets action, and the more you keep taking these small steps, the more momentum you’ll gather and the more you’ll want to keep going and start challenging yourself to take bigger strides forward.

Step 3 – Regularly reflect on your progress and don’t be afraid to adapt your goals

It’s important to keep reflecting on how things are going – celebrating those small wins will help you to stay motivated and recognise the progress you’re making. If you’ve had a day or a week when you’ve gone off course, don’t beat yourself up – just try again the next day.

And if it keeps happening? Maybe ask yourself if it’s time to change tack or let it go and focus on something else.

Resolutions are meant to bring positive change into your life, so if yours are no longer serving you, it’s OK to adapt your goals to make them more achievable or even start working towards different ones. Who said they’re just for January?

By checking in with yourself regularly, you’ll start to gain a better understanding of both what you ultimately want and what will help you achieve it. And even if you do end up abandoning your original resolutions, you’ll end up with a clearer idea of the direction you want to head in, so not keeping them may not be such a bad thing after all.

If your resolution is to improve your wellbeing, check out our blog on looking after your mental health at work.

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