6 tips for great New Year's resolutions!

Do all New Year resolutions fail? We share six points to remake your life!


1. You thought too big.

Seriously. Losing 20kg in a month? Being a millionaire by the time you hit 30 (when you haven’t stuck to a job for more than a few months at a time)?

What you have to do:
Think smaller. Sure, you can lose 20kg if you’re that much overweight, but do it over a longer time — know that this will take a year, 2kg a month is more reasonable and best of all, sustainable! Want to be a millionaire? Find a job, stick to it long enough to learn how to do it well, and think up ways to expand this job to fill a need (that YOU identify) and fill that need — voila! You’re on your way to a business success…

2. You didn’t plan it detailed enough.

Even climbing Mount Everest, you don’t just think “I’m gonna climb the tallest mountain in the world!” So when you resolve to do something, it takes a plan.

What you have to do:
On your way to the peak of Everest, first, there’s preparation and training, then there’s buying your ticket, checking your route and hiring your Sherpas, then there’s the waystations and stops that you must climb through. Then you are at the top of the mountain. So with this in mind, when you want to lose weight, for instance, you have to assess your diet honestly — take a day or two to do it right — and see where you eat excess carbs or fatty food. Then you need to plan to eat healthily without those foods and keep up that habit for months and months. This includes noting down what restaurants you can and cannot eat at, or what hawker stalls you must avoid. Also plan to celebrate, say every three months, when you see a loss. And you’ll get there. What do you have to do to get a new job? Write your plan down now (once your hangover is gone).

3. Make it a habit.

Willpower can and will waver (especially when confronted with sea-salt caramel sauce on waffles). Plus, we all forget or get swamped by work. So you have to make your new resolution into a habit — by breaking it into baby steps that can become new habits.

What you have to do:
If you need to change your diet to include more veggies, for a whole month at least, make sure that at every mealtime half your plate is veggie. Yes, breakfast, too. Programme reminders into your phone, tell your lunch/dinner partners to remind you, plan your home-cooking to include that much veggie. Keep this up for at least a month (if you quite like veg but forget to eat it) but bring that number up if you don’t really like veg (maybe two months or more?). If you’re wondering about that whole “21 days” to build a habit, it varies a lot more than that easy number, says research from University College London. 

4. Failure is cool.

Failure isn’t what you want but it’s not the end of the world. Really.

What you have to do:
So you fell off the wagon — your resolution of only having a glass of wine a week — and had six. The next day, take some panadol, drink lots of water, and tell yourself that it’s okay. And stay strong. Be honest with yourself, though. Because if you are falling off the wagon every other day — you’re starting another habit: Drinking again.

5. Get help.

Enlist a buddy, maybe your hubby, maybe your kids (there’s nothing like the gleeful chorus of little kid voices yelling “MUMMY EAT CHOCOLATE AGAIN!” to stop you in your tracks). Get a friend to go to the gym with you. Write a log book (online if you have to) or write a blog or use Instagram (just remember that not everyone wants to read Instagram posts about the details of how you are flossing at every meal). Want to eat more veg? Programme it into your phone to shop for veg twice a week (bonus: Walking to market can whittle down your waistline and boost heart health).

6. Believe in yourself

You can do it. You can plan to do it.

Photo: INGimages

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