January 20, 2022, 21:31

    Quitter’s Day 2022: Experts share 5 tips on how to stick to New Year’s resolutions

    Quitter’s Day 2022: Experts share 5 tips on how to stick to New Year’s resolutions

    January isn't the most pleasant of months with Christmas and New Year's Eve behind us and the daunting prospect of a New Year ahead.

    However, it's also a month full of opportunity and a chance to hit the reset button amid the busyness of day-to-day life. It can present new beginnings and a way to instil life-changing habits.

    The second Friday in January, each year, is known as Quitter's Day and it falls on Friday, January 14, this year.

    It's a day when the month has already taken its toll on many, and those who set themselves New Year's resolutions decide to give up.

    So, if you've been teetering on the edge of giving up on Dry January, tucking into a steak in the midst of Veganuary, or skipping that lunchtime run, we've got a range of tips from nutritionists, personal trainers and sobriety experts on how to power through.

    5 ways to avoid giving up on New Year's resolutions including Dry January and Veganuary

    Remember why you've made your New Year's resolution

    While it can be tempting to quit and give up on New Year's resolutions, try to remember the exact reason that spurred you on to set yourself the goal of quitting drinking, eating healthier, doing something creative daily or exercising more.

    Quitter's Day falls on the second Friday of January each year
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    Image:
    Getty Images)

    Alex Cassidy, the founder of free habit-tracker app RewardDays, says: "When creating your new goals for the year, focus on what is significant to you. Make goals around the areas you are most interested in seeing a change – not just the areas others are focusing on.

    "Another way to ensure your goals are meaningful is by attaching it to someone you love. In doing so, your brain will associate your success with the benefits it will have for this individual and will promote crucial emotional boosts."

    Tom Opper, personal trainer and founder of Top Fitness, suggests: "To create fitness goals that stick, you need to look beyond the action itself to why you are setting the goal. Your “why” will be unique to you, rooted in your own values and personal goals.

    Remind yourself of exactly why you made these goals
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    Image:
    Getty Images/iStockphoto)

    "Rather than focusing on a resolution around wanting to lose weight, think about why you want to lose weight in the first place, and the areas in which this would improve your life. For example, would you like to be better able to keep up with your kids? Would you like to set a better example to those around you?"

    Consistency is key – even if it's a tiny change

    From dark mornings to the cold winter air, January doesn't make it easy to spring out of bed and make the most of your day.

    However, we are sometimes guilty of overcomplicating our goals or making them a tad too hard, which also makes sticking to them far trickier.

    Temptation is all around us, but try not to fall of the wagon
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    Image:
    gettyimages.ie)

    Try to make life a little easier for yourself by trying considering the following things:

    • Even going for a 20-minute walk is better than not exercising at all, you don't have to go to the gym daily
    • If you've said you'll cut out takeaways, think about the fact that you could whip up an easy meal in the 30 minutes it takes for your food order to arrive
    • While one drink might not hurt on a night out, is it worth the guilt you'll feel later for having that one blip in an otherwise-perfect sobriety run?

    Paul Jenkins, sports coach and founder of nutrition brand DNA Lean, tells The Mirror: "Break your goals down into monthly milestones – this makes things seem much more achievable and allows you to celebrate little wins."

    If you can't fathom the thought of another gym session, a short lunchtime work is just as good
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    Image:
    Getty)

    He adds: "If you think you've gone in a bit all-guns-blazing, and want to slow down a bit, that's fine!

    "Don't underestimate the power of tiny changes, such as cutting out a can of Coke every lunchtime. The cumulative impact of one small change can still be incredible. Don't be hard on yourself, and take your time – fitness doesn't have to be overwhelming."

    Fail to prepare, prepare to fail

    It can be so easy to wing it and believe that, as you've made this mental promise to yourself, you'll stick to your resolutions.

    However, we're only human and you'll soon find a little bit of planning goes a long way.

    Some easy ways to prepare for your resolutions include setting a reminder and blocking out time daily, putting a calendar on your wall and ticking off each day you stick to your plan, and noting down your plan for each day in a list.

    Create a visual way to remind yourself of your goals and how well you're doing
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    Image:
    Getty)

    Alex Cassidy tells The Mirror how he planned for tricky moments: "A lot of people quit because of events on the horizon that they think are impossible to overcome without the assistance of alcohol.

    "But there are a variety of ways to help push through and avoid succumbing to the pressure. For example if out with a larger group, make it a habit of getting a drink when you first arrive. You can get a soft drink without justification, avoid getting stuck in rounds, and generally make the process easier for yourself."

    When it comes to fitness-related goals, Tom Opper tells The Mirror: "One of the biggest mistakes many of us make when training is a lack of structure. We go into the gym, we spend an hour or so doing a few exercises we don’t hate (or just spend the whole time on the treadmill out of fear around the weight room) and then we leave – just to come back in a few days’ time to do the exact same thing, with no measurable progression.

    "One way to minimise gym anxiety, particularly in the weight room, is to have a plan in place beforehand, so you know exactly what you need to do and where you need to go."

    Accountability and support will help you on your way

    Temptation is never far away, particularly when social plans with your friends revolve around the one thing you're giving up.

    While we know it isn't realistic to avoid seeing your friends for the whole of January or avoiding walking past your favourite takeaway joint until February, there are easy ways to stick to your resolutions.

    You'll probably be able to whip up a tasty meal in the time it would've taken for a takeaway to arrive
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    Image:
    Getty Images/Tetra images RF)

    Iman Hassan, BSc, ANutr, registered private nutritionist and certified personal trainer, says accountability is crucial.

    She tells The Mirror: "Find an accountability partner, this can be a friend or family member or join a community of supportive and like-minded people. There are a plethora of health-focused communities both offline and online."

    Keep reiterating that you've set a particular goal, along with why you've set it, to your friendship circle, and those around you.

    Believe in yourself

    As corny as it may sound, lacking self-belief will instantly set you on the path for failure. If you're constantly telling yourself you 'can't do it' or you'll 'never stick to it', your mind will believe that, too.

    Implementing a new habit into your lifestyle is tricky enough as it is, so try to avoid putting mental barriers in the way of your progress.

    For example, gyms can be daunting places and there's endless opportunity to compare yourself to those around you. You may think you'll never get to their level when it comes to strength or stamina, but everyone starts somewhere and they're likely to have been in the exact same place as you.

    Many often worry about feeling self-conscious or looking 'silly' in the gym. For this, Tom Opper tells The Mirror: "What will hopefully help with this, and stop your anxieties getting in the way of your New Year fitness goals, is the knowledge that nobody is paying nearly as much attention to you as you think.

    "It can also help to simply acknowledge and normalise any anxieties you have. You’re scared of being on display, and potentially looking foolish, and that’s fine! That happens to all of us from time-to-time. Once you accept your fears, they lose at least some of their power over you."

    Nutritionist and personal trainer Iman Hassan leaves us with this motivational advice: "Remember mastery requires practice. You either change a single degree in the direction of your goals daily or you can choose the opposite direction.

    "Where you will be by next January is completely your choice."

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    Sourse: mirror.co.uk

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