Before heading off for a well earned Christmas break, Harriet shared her thoughts on New Year’s resolutions:
I love the ‘New Year’s Resolutions’ conversation, always being the first one in my family to bring it up: “So what are everybody’s resolutions for this year??” I look around the table expectantly…my Dad smirks and says ‘well the usual, you know, I will get fitter, drink less beer etc’. It’s quite clear he has no real drive to achieving them. My brother is a little more optimistic- “I’m giving up drinking” he declares with real intention; intention which wavers mid-January and utterly falls on its face by February.
I remember mine from last year quite clearly; learn to drive (yes yes, I still haven’t learnt!) and get over my fear of spiders. And now the New Year is almost upon us again and I cannot drive 😦 and I am still pretty scared of spiders.
So what does it take to get people to stick to their resolutions? Why do we make them and break them within months, sometimes even weeks? What exactly is the point?
This year I have been inspired by Doer Will Yeates, who has pledged to increase the sustainability of his lifestyle whilst encouraging others to do the same by pledging their resolutions on his page. But will Will and his friends fall down the same treacherous path and forget the resolutions before the end of January? Hopefully setting down their resolutions in (digital) stone, and the handy email nudges and reminders that we send them will help to keep their motivation alive. How else can we keep the motivation and inspiration alive?
Here are some tips that I hope may help:
• Make manageable bite-size resolutions – pledge to go to the gym twice a week, then increase it gradually – promising yourself you will exercise every single day means you are less likely to do so.
• Talk about your resolutions with friends and family – don’t exaggerate and pretend you are doing more than you are; share your genuine experiences; include the struggles. Knowing that others are struggling along with you makes it easier to carry on.
• In Hermione’s (The DoNation Founder) words “make it public, make it realistic, make it fun”. Want to get fitter? Sign up for a crazy challenge with your friends; you can motivate each other with group training. Check out our latest picks of the month if you need some inspiration.
• Push your dad off the sofa; ask your family and friends to sponsor you with their own action; get them to walk to work, cut down on meat or quit smoking in support of your own New Year’s challenge… after all we are all in this together, right?
Don’t just make New Year’s ‘wishes’ this year; make them a reality and get Doing 🙂
So whether you are serial New Year’s resolution-ist, or want to give it a go for the first time…why not support Will Yeates and pledge to be more awesome in 2013!