New Year’s Resolutions – getting it right

Can you believe it’s that time of year already? 2009 culminating in a frenzy of Christmas parties, shopping and failed-New-Year’s-resolution remorse; 2010 dawning with a fresh slate and the promise that you’ll do it all again.

The Twitter gates are flooded with people tweeting about their aspirations for the new year – read 100 books, become a vegan, don’t tweet while driving, stop biting nails. I think @mizzsmithtoyou gets it right when she tweets, “Thinkin about my new years resolution… I want something I will actually be successful in doing… hmm”.

But how do you know that you WILL be successful in doing what you promise, before you’ve even tried doing it?

In a champagne-induced New Year’s haze, with sparklers and fireworks blurring your vision and loud music in your ears, it’s easy to get caught up in the excitement and commit to something that you haven’t thought through.

So I’ve been thinking, if you’re one of those people who has a hard time sticking to your resolution, what can you do to ensure you make a New Year’s resolution you WILL keep this year?

  1. It’s all in the way you say it – Don’t underestimate the power of positive affirmations! Instead of saying you’ll STOP doing something, why not word it as something you’ll START doing? Instead of promising to eat less junk food, promise to keep a healthy and balanced diet. Instead of vowing never again to slack off at work, try resolving to work harder.
  2. Resolve to do something enjoyable – Just because it’s a New Year’s resolution, doesn’t mean it has to make you yawn and want to fall into a sleep-of-denial on the spot when you think about doing it. Learning to cook well and eating out less can be fun, for example, if you like cooking. Being more active could mean kicking a ball at the beach with your friends or joining dance classes.
  3. Strength in numbers – Share a New Year’s resolution with a friend. If you’re not convinced, think about what peer pressure did for you in school. Friends can be the motivation you need to get something done, especially if you’re heading off to exercise together, sharing healthy dinners or pulling out your competitive edge to be the first to finish the samurai Sudoku in the weekend paper.
  4. Commit – Harder than it sounds? Not with the right approach! If you commit to something, say, pre-buying six months of personal training sessions or a ten-class yoga pass, you’re more likely to stick with it. My 2010 New Year’s resolution is to be more creative, so I’ve booked an eight-class digital photography course. Having organised this already, it’s not something I’m likely to back out of, so I’m pretty sure it’s a New Year’s resolution I’m going to keep.
  5. Tell EVERYONE – The more people you tell about your New Year’s resolution, the more motivation you’ll have to keep your promise. This might cause a bit of pressure, but at least you will have friends encouraging you along the way.
  6. Try a RedBalloon experience – RedBalloon has loads of experiences that make keeping your New Year’s Resolution fun and easy. You just have to think creatively. If you’ve resolved to spend more time with your partner, start with a cosy dinner and astrology reading for two. If your resolution was to try something new, check out the Minjin jungle swing!
Try a RedBalloon experience to get your New Year's resolution rolling.

Try a RedBalloon experience to get your New Year's resolution rolling.

If you don’t think any of these will help, my advice is to resolve to NOT to make a New Year’s resolution. That way, you’re sure to break it, which means you WILL end up actually doing something productive, which in turn means you’ll find yourself celebrating 2011 feeling good and knowing you made some self-improvements during the year. Because there’s nothing like a bit of reverse psychology to get things going.

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