Pink & Blue Mummyland

Pink and blue parenting through pink and blue moods….

Abbie’s top 5 resolution making tips!

on January 23, 2015

Having talked about the right time (and wrong time!) to make New Year’s resolutions Resolutions I found myself inundated* with requests for other nuggets of wisdom regarding making choices for change. So, without further ado, here are my top five tips for making resolutions that last. Most of these come from my book Insight Into Self Harm, which helps people who self-harm make progress with their recovery, but I think the ideas are universal.

1 – Know what you want to do

Tip number one sounds simple, but it’s crucial. Not only do you need to know what you want to achieve, but you need to know exactly what you want to achieve, and know for definite what you either don’t want to change or aren’t going to change right now. The big thing to remember here is that you can’t do everything at once.When I look at my life, I can see multitudes of things I could change for the better. Drink less, eat less, smoke less. Pray more, write more, exercise more. I’ve learnt that if I try to change everything at once, I normally end up back where I started. Habits take a long time to form – we need to give ourselves time to change them..

2 – Know how to go about it

This is where you plan and prepare, and gather resources to help you get where you want to be. Some of these will be obvious – think nicotine patches and celery sticks. Others will be harder to pin down. For me, routine is always a big thing – it’s got to be something that fits into my life if I’m going to keep doing it.
NB – if you really want to make a lasting change there is no shame in seeking professional help. Doctors, therapists, AA – whatever gets the job done.

3 – Know why you want to do it

Reasons are important to have a stock of during those times you want to give up. They are also helpful for when you do temporarily give up. Reminding ourselves why we’re putting ourselves through it to start with is what’s going to give us a kick up the backside when feels hard. Find yourself a phrase: “I am doing this because…” – this is your mantra for when the going gets tough.

4 – Know how to deal with set backs

I think it was Thomas Edison, when inventing the lightbulb, who said something along the lines of ‘I never failed, I just found another way not to do it’. My interpretation is, when you fail, chalk it up to experience, and keep on keeping on. Berating yourself isn’t going to make you feel any better, and it distracts you from getting back on track.

5 – Know when you’re done!

One of the things I say in the book is to make your goals measurable – that is, design them so that you’ll know when you’ve done them. If that’s not smoking or drinking it will be easy to see, but if it’s ‘get down to two a day’ that’s good too, just as long as you know what you’re aiming for. If it’s a positive thing you’re trying to do (eg pray regularly) you still need a way to measure it, but don’t go too hard on yourself – I’d suggest four or five days out of seven to start with. The key with resolutions is, don’t set yourself up to fail.

So, there we are! I’m just getting started on what I want to achieve this year. I’d love to know what you decide and how you’re getting on…

*OK, I was asked by three people, which isn’t ‘inundated’ as much as ‘slightly pestered’. But I can dream….


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