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Almost everyone makes a New Year resolution, but how many actually stick to it? 10, maybe 20 percent of people get some way towards their goals, while everyone else falls behind. But that needn’t be the case anymore

You always start January with good intentions. Once the Christmas decorations are down, the leftovers have finally been eaten, and the last family party has come to an end, it’s time to jump back on the wagon, and undo a month of dieting debauchery.

If you’re anything like most of the general public, you’ve probably actually had your New Year resolution planned for months. Many people decide on October or November that they want to lose weight and get fitter, yet put off actually doing anything about it until the annual festivities are out of the way.

Brushing aside the fact that actually, you’d probably have been far better off making a start and getting your goal chasing underway when your first thought about it, congratulations on making a New Year resolution and deciding to do something to better yourself.

There’s one big problem with resolutions though – they don’t work.

It’s not necessarily that the resolutions themselves that don’t work, it’s how we go about sticking to them.

Resolutions tend to be very enforced. It’s the done thing to make one, and most people make them more out of a sense of obligation, rather than wanting to make a positive change. Even if you do really want to stick to yours, it’s incredibly easy to get dragged down by other people who couldn’t stick to theirs. By February, you’re back at square one, only with a hole in your wallet from January’s gym fees, those diet shakes you bought and the expensive new gym kit you decided was a must.

It doesn’t have to be this way though. Plenty of people do succeed in achieving the New Year goals they set themselves, it’s just that the majority of people can’t commit to their resolution.

The trouble many people have is that their goals seem sterile, out of reach and lifeless.

It’s all very well and good writing down “I want to lose 20 pounds” or saying to a friend “I think I’m going to lose some weight this year” but that just doesn’t cut it. Saying something is easy, but doing it is tough.

Rather than saying “I want to” or “I’d like to” or anything that leaves you with a loophole to get out of, make sure you start every resolution with the phrase “I will.” It might sound corny, but by making a commitment to yourself and saying that you’re definitely going to do something means you’re far more likely to succeed.

Don’t just say it to yourself either – write it down, tell friends, family and work colleagues and anyone who’ll listen. The more you say it, the more real your goal becomes.

People often envisage a slimmer, fitter version of themselves, but that image is just a pipedream, or mirage, most people don’t actually believe they’ll look like that. You’ve probably heard someone pick up a fitness magazine or look at a trim celebrity in the paper and remark “I’ll never look like that” but by saying that, you’re already setting yourself up for failure.

Get your goal firmly set in your head, and create the perfect image of what you want to look like. This isn’t a dream, it is what you’ll look like in 12 months time.

Continue reading after recommendations

  • “Top 10 Benefits of Hiring a Personal Trainer”, By Craig Simms, Published on August 5, 2012, Accessed on December 28th, 2012, Retrieved from http://www.ideafit.com/fitness-library/benefits-of-a-personal-trainer

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