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  • Mark Brafield

New Year's Resolutions

So we've got past Blue Monday, but how are those New Year's resolutions going ?

It is easy to make resolutions, but not so easy to keep them, so here, in, as they say, no particular order, are my top tips for keeping to your resolutions.

1. Don't be afraid of taking small steps. Often, the key to making and keeping a new habit or pattern of behaviour is simply to start by small increments and build up slowly. The solution-focused approach always asks, 'what is the one small step I could do next to help me progress towards my goal ?' If you have a fitness tracker, just add 100 steps to your day. And 100 the next day, and so on.

2. Put your resolutions in some sort of context, and link them to a value or something of importance in your life. Simply saying that you want to be able to run 10km. is meaningless unless you ask why this is a goal for you, and how it will be of benefit to you.

Why do you want to be able to run 10km ?

- Well, obviously, in order to be fitter.

That's great. What will you do with that fitness ?

- I will be able get through the day more easily, with less stress, and be able to enjoy my free time after work without being exhausted, playing with the children instead of slumping on the sofa in front of the television.


3. Identify when and where you are likely to succumb to temptation and plan in advance how you are going to deal with it. Let's be realistic, if you are trying to give up smoking, you may feel some cravings as you go through the process, and perhaps that will be triggered if someone else in your office lights a cigarette after lunch. So now you have identified the danger moment when you might be tempted, and what will you do instead ? Answer - take 10 minutes to walk round the park opposite the office and enjoy the fresh air. Good plan.

4. Don't beat yourself up if you slip back. Learning a new habit or breaking an old habit takes time. Be kind to yourself, and if you do fall off the wagon, consider the situation without judgment and see if you can work out what caused the slip. Once you have done that, congratulate yourself on having learned the lesson, and look forward to tomorrow with new determination.

Keep going and good luck !

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