Make those New Year's Resolutions stick

Once the season of overeating and drinking is done many of us are left thinking something has to change. Cue dreams of fresh new starts; preparing healthy meals, enjoying exercise and a general, new-found focus on ourselves.

Millions of us will make New Year's resolutions this year, and most of us will have broken them by February. In fact, a survey by Bupa found that half of those who planned to make New Year's resolutions weren't confident they would stick to them. And that's before they had even started! A study by the University of Bristol suggested 88% of people ultimately fail.

The most common resolutions are based on health: quitting smoking, eating more healthily, and losing weight top the lists each year. Other common promises we make to ourselves include activities to improve our sense of wellbeing such as spending more time with family or learning a new skill.

So how do we turn this obvious enthusiasm for change into something that will last? With a little bit of planning and thought, reaching those elusive goals might not be as difficult as we think:

Here are our top three tips to help you keep your New Year's Resolutions in 2019:

1. Set a goal and then create an action plan

We often spend time thinking about the outcome we want to achieve with no consideration of how to get there. You're more likely to get the result you want if you've thought about ways to make it happen and milestones to reach along the way. 

If your goal is to eat more healthily then a little inspiration from some of the latest healthy cook books might be the incentive you need to create a weekly meal plan and discover new recipes. Visit WH Smith in our shopping centre to pick up Tom Kerridge's Fresh Start: Kick start your new year. Eat well every day £13.00.


2. Check on your progress

Work out how you're going to measure your success. Setting huge, life-changing resolutions can lead to feelings of frustration if you haven't found a way to monitor your progress. If the dream is to get more exercise, then invest in technology to track your activities and see the miles clock up. Boots in Bethel Square stocks fitness trackers which record your steps, distance, calories burned and heart-rate. Some will even give you a nudge to keep you moving. Don't forget, our centre is located on the edge of the Brecon Beacons and makes the perfect base from which to explore this stunning National Park.


3. Tell friends, use pictures, and be kind to yourself…

The more we tell people about our ambitions, the more likely we are to follow them through. There will be times when you'll need some extra support and getting friends and family on-board at the beginning will help to provide a supportive and encouraging atmosphere. 

A visual prompt is also a great way to keep the momentum going. For example, if you're saving for a holiday, have a picture of the destination stuck somewhere prominent in your house so you can see the end goal.

It's important to remember that your resolutions aren't always going to go to plan, there will be set-backs along the way. This isn't a reason to stop and give up. Take a step back, think about how well you've done so far, keep aiming for smaller milestones along the way, and be kind to yourself - we all slip up!

Visit Bethel Square for a coffee with friends at the Coffee Box and they'll be delighted to hear about your achievements and keep you going. Good luck with your resolutions. You got this!