As we ring in the New Year, many of us infamously set a series of unrealistic New Year’s resolutions which we fail to maintain beyond the beginning of February.
Self-improvement, or at least the desire for it, appears to be a common hobby. Not being able to make sustainable changes long-term that we promised ourselves we would, can lead to disappointment; however, this need not be the case. Forget New Year’s resolutions, and simply use the fresh motivation and feeling of a clean slate which comes with the start of a new ear to become a happier, more satisfied and successful version of you.
It has been reported that 21.4% of all New Year’s resolutions incorporate a desire to lose weight, whilst 7.1% include the intention to quit smoking. However, statistics also reveal that only 9.2% of people during 2017 felt they were successful in achieving their New Year’s resolutions. Could it be that the pressure of officially having resolutions in place means we become easily discouraged if we have a stumble? Inevitably, when making real change to habits, you should account for the odd hiccup.
Ben Edwards; a qualified life coach, NLP practitioner and motivational speaker, outlines several easy tips for achieving your goals and finding happiness in 2018 which don’t involve making hard-line resolutions that are harder to stick to!
For many of us, money plays an important role in our lives. Whether this be the desire to earn more of it or failing to hold on to it, we are often at odds with our finances; as we give in to the ongoing temptation to spend what we have. If we get paid more, we inevitably spend more with seemingly little self-discipline – hindering only ourselves.
Take a step back from your finances, and be realistic when setting goals for the upcoming year. Ask yourself how your spending habits may play a role in achieving or sabotaging your progress. There is no need to be excessively anal; take small steps to being more organised and this will reap massive rewards as you end up with more spare cash as a result. This is an effort and reward process; in order to support your motivation and remain organised, give yourself incentives – do you want to go through your credit card statements? No! Do you want those new shoes? Of course! So, if you organise your finances, you can have them!
Examining your financial circumstances, may help you to determine where you have overspent, and where you can afford to invest more wisely; remaining in the dark about your finances, no matter how tempting, will not encourage positive changes and may hold you back. With smart planning and strategic saving, you may be able to accomplish more than you ever thought possible.
The most common New Year’s resolution is to lose weight; however, health is not solely determined by the scales and weight is irrelevant. What is most important is how you look and feel within yourself. If you were offered a trade-off of being the exact same weight you are now, yet you looked like an Instagram model – would you take the trade?
What should be encouraged is a healthy lifestyle and in order to enhance your physical wellbeing and find critical self-confidence, try to be realistic. Consider which kinds of exercise you would genuinely enjoy; suddenly expecting yourself to visit the gym 7 times a week seems somewhat unrealistic for a non-gym-goer and is unlikely to be sustained. Similarly, instead of planning to cut out all unhealthy foods, devise a meal plan of dishes rich in nutrients that you can actually look forward to. Your priority should be health, being content with your appearance will then naturally follow.
Give yourself an incentive which pushes you to achieve your goal; if you allow yourself treats and rewards, i.e. a cheat meal each week, as a reward for your hard work, you will be more inclined to continue with your mission and achieve lasting results.
Take time for yourself and be selfish from time to time without beating yourself up. Achieving optimum emotional wellbeing is all about understanding and finding balance which you cannot do unless you take a step back and take stock; go after what you want, and take manageable steps to achieving these goals.
It is crucial to not let anyone else determine your self-worth; do not become engrossed in the demands of others – set goals which reflect your desires and work to promote your own happiness.
Ensure you spend time with friends and family, relax watching your favourite TV programme and plan activities which make you happy – for you are just as important as everyone else. Personal projects are intended to encourage a deeper personal growth; as a happier you makes for a happier life. Do not be scared of change or feel guilty about wanting to make yourself happier; this should be a priority.
Consider whether your ongoing relationships are fulfilling your needs. If you find yourself dissatisfied with your partner; you have to make the decision to address your differences or depart from the relationship – if your partner does something you would not have accepted in the beginning, why are you accepting it now? You cannot expect to grow and develop if you maintain a critical aspect of your life which appears to be holding you back. Although this prospect may be daunting, being more independent may allow for more exciting opportunities and encourage you to find yourself again.
It is also important to not compare your relationships with others; your relationships are unique to you, and what satisfies the needs of others may not match your preferences.
If you feel you would benefit from expert advice or support, visit Ben’s website: www.be-limitless.co.uk, where you can also find tickets to Ben’s upcoming self-confidence and communication boot camp.