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Everyone knows that new years resolutions are a great idea – for a while at least. For most of us, good intentions have given way to reality well before the end of January. So with some trepidation my Senior Managers and I are going public with ours. This is our composite list of resolutions, thereby ensuring some anonymity:

1. Join the gym
2. Go to the gym
3. Enrol your partner at the gym
4. Swim
5. Lose the 1 stone 1 pound put on over Christmas
6. Learn metric
7. Train for 60 kilometre (!) fundraising walk for Solent Mind
8. Walk it
9. Make friends with an osteopath
10. Make no resolutions at all and thereby avoid failure

So on that last point, and more seriously, thanks to the Mental Health Foundation for advice on how to achieve your resolutions:

  • Be realistic. Unattainable goals are often the enemy of achievable resolutions. Change one small thing at a time. 
  • Planning helps. Don’t wait until the last minute – plan ahead of New Year’s Day.
  • Develop a support network Friends, family and colleagues can all help you – talk to them about what you’re planning to do and tell them how they can help.
  • Measure your successes. Stay motivated by measuring how far you’ve come each week. This will help you realise how small changes can make a big difference.
  • Reward yourself. Celebrate when you succeed with a treat, which doesn’t necessarily have to be the thing you’re trying to avoid. You might reward the first month of your successful diet with a night at the cinema, for example – or even a short holiday!
  • Treat failure as a small setback. If you slip and break your diet, forget to exercise or have a secret cigarette, don’t despair! Learn from the setback: what situations made you slip? Can you avoid them next time? Don’t obsess over small setbacks – it won’t help you achieve your goal. Start fresh the next day. Don’t give up!
  • Make your resolution stick. After a couple of weeks, the changes you’ve made will become a habit and part of your routine, so don’t be discouraged if you’re still finding it hard after the first week. Stick to it and it will only get easier!

A very happy 2013 to everyone associated with Solent Mind, and good luck with those resolutions!

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