With the New Year just around the corner most of us will already be thinking about what we want to change about ourselves in 2013. Maybe it’s to finally stop smoking or to start going to the gym – most ideas will be super ambitious and backed by confidence, but sadly statistics show that the majority of these well-meaning ideas will never materialise.
But what is it that prevents us from fulfilling our New Year’s resolutions? For the majority of people, it seems that their goals are simply too high. Unless you have some seriously strong willpower, it’s best to remember that there is a huge difference between an achievable goal and wishful thinking.
Thankfully there is plenty of ways to help make those New Year’s promises a reality and they’re a lot less complicated than you may think.
One DCU student described how she had given up smoking at the beginning of 2012, crediting her success to being realistic in her approach and having a strong and supportive network of friends: “I wasn’t the only smoker in my group of friends so I thought it would be really hard to give up, but thankfully everyone was really supportive. Nobody smoked around me and after a couple of months I was off them completely.”
Not going completely cold turkey immediately, she did admit to having several setbacks: “I smoked about 10 a day so at the beginning I tried to smoke two cigarettes less each week and eventually I managed to not smoke any at all in a day. I would advise anyone thinking of doing the same to try do that because if I had of went completely off them there is no way I would have been able to give up.”
What can be learned from this particular student is that having a strong and supportive group of friends is definitely a huge plus, as is being realistic. Instead of trying to do everything all at once, pace yourself.
By doing this, the chances of success are hugely increased.
Make sure you let others know of your intentions and keep yourself motivated. Write down on a piece of paper exactly what you want to achieve and carry it around you with at all times to remind yourself what you want to change.
With a positive attitude and a few simple changes, hopefully at least some of our resolutions are fulfilled in the coming months and if not, there’s always next year.
Caoimhe Ni Loinsigh