Wednesday, 27 January 2016

New Years Resolutions are about creating better habits.

Did you make one? We did… It’s almost a month into 2016, are you starting to lose focus or worse have you fallen off the band wagon? A recent study of 1000 Australians, showed that 69% intended to set a New Year’s resolution. Why not, it’s such a great time to set such personal goals, with the start of a fresh new year. But staggeringly less than a quarter of these people will achieve their resolution goals. Here at Rebalance Myotherapy we have clients every year that achieve some amazing goals. This blog gives a little insight into how to help set your goals and also ultimately achieve them. 

A study at the UK University of Hertforshire found the key to keeping on track varies according to your gender. They found that if men set specific goals they were more likely to achieve their resolutions. For example instead of setting a broard goal of losing weight, men that had the goal to lose a certain number of kgs, were able to train and achieve this target. Makes sense really, giving your goals direction and having a target to head towards.

The same study showed that women who shared their resolutions with others had a greater chance of accomplishing their goals. Professor Richard Wiseman states 'women benefit from social support provided by friends and family’. I’ve always found sharing my goals is a great method, it has helped me stay on the path to achieving them. Also, when I’ve set goals I’ve found its best not to set yourself up for failure, rather to set goals that give you the sense of achievement. So instead of waking up New Year’s Day and unrealistically stating I will exercise every day in 2016, just commit to exercising 3 times a week and get yourself a different training buddy for each day. You will then have the social support off three workout buddy's which no matter your fitness level, it is one of the most beneficial and motivational things you can do. No one wants to be that workout buddy that pulls out of training sessions last minute, trust me this method has gotten me out of bed more times than I can count.

I truly believe obtaining goals is clearly linked to creating habits and studies have shown that on average it takes more than 2 months (66 days to be exact) before a new behavior becomes automatic. So with this knowledge make sure you set realistic timelines and understand achieving them will take time (science says so!). Interestingly researchers have also found that 'missing one opportunity to perform the new behavior did not materially affect the habit formation process'. In other words, don’t be so hard on yourself if every now and then you struggle to find time to work on your goals. Treat your goals as a work in progress sometimes you will be moving 100km/hr towards them, other times you will feel you are stagnant or even worse moving backwards. A good way to counteract this is take yourself back to the beginning, reread your goals and look at how far you’ve already come. It’s easy to lose sight of what you’ve already achieved when you’re too focused on that next allusive milestone.

So with 2016 already in full flight and one month already disappearing, there is no time like the present to revisit your goals.  Make sure they have direction and are specific to what you want to achieve. Set realistic time lines, share with a loved one and make yourself accountable. There is no better feeling then accomplishing a goal whether it’s a personal or work related.  Good luck and I hope this information helps you achieve your New Year’s resolution.  

Monica Canny

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