Often at this time of year we get asked about our new years’ resolutions. Have you found that often you resolve to turn over a new leaf only to find within a few weeks the same old bad habits have crept in? Do you sometimes wonder what the easiest and most effective way is to actually create and stick to a new habit.

Here are three simple ways you can turn this year’s resolution into a reality.

1. Start Small

Often you decide that it is time to get fit, lose weight or get organised. But these things all take time and effort and slip ups can be very discouraging, sending us spiraling back to the couch or the biscuit jar for consolation. The most straightforward way to get started is to begin small. For example, lets take fitness, instead of joining a gym and paying out a lot of money at the beginning, maybe you could start the fitness campaign by just resolving to walk for five minutes a couple of times a week. Or perhaps you catch the tram to work and you could choose to walk one tram stop at the beginning or the end of the day to start off the process of building a walk in to your day. If you become clever about choosing something realistic and small  you will  weave it into your lifestyle and avoid the usual excuses about being busy, tired or too stressed to do it.

2. Choose Something You Enjoy

It is said that it takes twenty one days to create a new habit, so in order to motivate your self to do this new thing …you  need to start off with something you enjoy. If you hate walking for exercise then pick another form of fitness that allows you to start off small and do something you actually find fun. Maybe bike riding is better for you? If you are more motivated with some company, line up a friend or work colleague to help motivate you , for example choose to take the stairs at work instead of the lift together twice a week. You can then build up slowly without feeling overwhelmed or daunted by what you have committed your self to and the motivation of the enjoyment will help keep you going when it feels hard to persist.

3. Forgive your self when you slip up.

Often we start off enthusiastically and then our motivation wanes. If you have a bad day or a bad week, make sure you remind yourself that this doesn’t mean you  have blown your whole resolve. Try to understand what went wrong, why did you not persist, what are the obstacles keeping you from continuing on? The more you allow yourself to make mistakes and see it as part of the learning process of developing a new habit, the less likely you are to throw in the towel completely when things go wrong..

So start small, choose something enjoyable, and forgive yourself when you inevitably slip up. This sounds like such a simple way to approach a new year’s resolution, however, these steps can be an effective way to turn a new year’s resolution into a reality. For more help with developing and maintaining changes in your life, see melbourne counselling.