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Like many people I made resolutions at the start of the year. As well as our annual Bucket List of activities and things to tick off I always have a mental list of things I would like to achieve through the year – things I would like to change. This usually involves eating better, exercising more, losing weight, saving money and all of those traditional resolutions.
Like many people though, I find that January is just so tough with bad weather and not much to look forward to. Then with February comes even worse weather and school holidays – where we always do things fun and dieting goes out of the window. Next we have Easter and you can see how the good intentions get pushed to the side. It seems like our good intentions and resolutions are doomed from the start and Dr Thomas Webb, social psychologist and Chair of the Institute of Inertia seems to agree by saying:
“In January people have a tendency to jump on the ‘new year, new you’ bandwagon. Many of us follow the crowd and get swept up in the enthusiasm around making New Year’s resolutions. However, often the goals that we set are unrealistic, are not supported by a clear plan of action or an understanding of the task at hand – in short, it’s a recipe for failure.”
But spring is the perfect time to take back control of these resolutions and the Institute of Inertia, in partnership with Comparethemarket.com, have challenged myself and three other mummy bloggers to set a goal for April. Spring is the start of new beginnings and the brighter mornings, longer days and generally fresher outlook is the perfect time to make changes that can make a difference to your life.
This spring I am going to be focusing on one goal that I have constantly let slip – exercise. I started to run a couple of years ago but would do it for a few weeks and lose motivation. It’s something I had never done prior to that – somehow getting to the age of thirty without exercising at all but I know that regular exercise has such a great impact on all aspects of my life – I feel better for it, I lose weight naturally as I exercise and it also helps me make better choices with the foods I eat and my whole daily routine.
So this April I am getting back into running. I am giving myself the goal of going running three times a week to really get running back into my day to day routine. I have to fit running around my husband’s shifts but over the winter months I have the added excuse of the bad weather – and it getting dar earlier. But now, with so much sunlight there really isn’t any excuse. I am going to run and it is going to be a month of making running a permanent part of my life.
The Institute of Inertia have given me the following tips to help me stick to my spring goal:
1. Set resolutions in Spring: Quite literally, spring time is the point of new beginnings. With the clocks going forward bringing lighter evenings, nature is blooming, and life awakens. In Spring, our good intentions to get things done and make positive change are given a welcome boost by, quite literally, a brighter outlook.
2. Don’t bury your head in the sand: Evidence suggests that people often act like the proverbial ostrich and bury their heads in the sand, rather than confront the reality that they are not making the progress toward their goals that they would like, or hoped for. One strategy for success is to keep track of your progress and be honest with yourself regarding what needs to change.
For example, if you want to start saving money, then you need to be realistic about how much is coming in and how much you are spending per day. If you don’t have the full picture, then you are less likely to be able to achieve your goal.
3. Plan ahead: Evidence suggests that planning when, where, and how you will achieve your goals is really important. When we plan how to tackle obstacles in advance we can ensure that we are better prepared giving ourselves a better chance of achieving our goals.
For example, if you are trying to eat healthily, then plan your meals out for the weekand get all the necessary ingredients in. You are then less likely to pop to the supermarket after work when you’re tired and hungry and buy a ready meal or snack.
4. Bite size chunks: It can be overwhelming thinking about the end goal. Often what we are trying to achieve feels out of reach leading us to lose the motivation needed to keep going. Breaking the goal down and focusing on small achievable actions can make it feel less daunting.
For example, rather than setting yourself the task of losing a huge amount of weight like a stone or more, try and break it down to one or two pounds a week. When you succeed in the first week you should not only be motivated to keep going but your end goal may feel more achievable.
So this month I have set my new resolution. I am taking ownership of it and I am going to be honest with myself about how I am doing. I am also going to write on my calendar all the days that I can go for a run as I know if I don’t plan the time it just won’t happen. Lastly, I will be thinking about each run individually rather than the whole month in one go.
Over the course of the next month I’ll be documenting my progress – you’ll see me sharing updates from each run on social media, especially on Instagram, and I’ll update regularly on the here too. So, will I stick to my new running routine? I hope so! Follow me on my journey this spring and see how I do. If you fancy it you could make a goal yourself too – let me know how you get on.