It’s never too late to make a New Years resolution. We are quite a bit past New Year and even Easter now, but I thought you might like this guest post today all about a better time to make Family New Year’s Resolutions. After all who wants to make a resolution in the middle of a dark, dreary winter.
We all make New Year’s resolutions of one sort or another. Like primary school children who maintain their best writing for the first few lines of each new page, we start out with great enthusiasm and determination but whatever we do it never seems to last.
What goes wrong? And what should we do about it?
- Research shows that we should choose achievable goals and build these into our routine until they become habits. For example:
We resolve to stop smoking when really we would have more success if we broke it down and only attempted to knock off one routine cigarette. A good one to choose would be the one that has to be smoked while shivering pathetically outside the office door.
We resolve to eat healthily but we would be better initially to reduce it to substituting the Friday night takeaway for a home cooked meal.
We resolve to lose weight instead of aiming to walk home from work or stop using the lift.
- It is also proven that if we tell other people about our goals we are less likely to give up and have more chance of achieving them.
- There is also much data to prove that the carrot works better than the stick. So instead of feeling guilty about your lapses, you should be treating yourself for your achievements.
These are all extremely valid and great ways of improving our staying power but I think that there is one less documented reason which makes us fail and that is because we make resolutions at the wrong time of year.
January is the dreariest of months. The days are short. Doing things in the dark always seems more of an effort so it is definitely not the best time to cram in visits to the gym or pound the streets after work .The weather is cold. Is this really the best time to cut our calorie intake and make ourselves even colder?
Fruit and vegetables are not at their best at this time of year, it is the time of comforting winter casseroles. Salads at this time of year consist of tasteless imported tomatoes, uninspiring cucumbers and indigestible green peppers. Is this really the time to try to wean yourself off chips? So I would add a fourth to the above aids to maintaining motivation:-
- Make your New Year’s Resolutions at Easter.
Just think how much better it would be….
- Longer days would make it easier to accommodate extra physical activities in daylight hours. There would be more time to spend on cooking delicious low calorie meals. The variety of British grown vegetables will be expanding so we will have more choice. We may even feel like growing some of our own.
- We do not need to suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) to know that we feel a whole lot more cheerful in warm and sunny days. We do not seek holidays in the sun for no good reason. Surely when we are happy we have much less need to light that cigarette, or buy that comforting cream cake.
- It is easier to reward yourself too, now that the shops are thinking about summer. How about the latest print dress or a new bikini, a pretty plant for the patio or even some new rattan furniture?
- Even the religious calendar would seem to confirm Easter’s superiority over the New Year. The resurrection is a happy time of hope and exciting new beginnings.
So don’t despair if your New Year Resolutions went out with the fairy lights, here is your chance to start all over again and with a much greater chance of success this time.
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