Yes, it’s that time of the year again.

The time of the year when we feel as if we should kick-start a new phase in our life; the time when we must make our all important new year’s resolution.

That said, we often realise that we can’t seem to fulfil all our resolutions at the end of the year. Don’t set yourself up for failure in 2017 by vowing to make huge changes that will be hard to keep. Perhaps, you can follow these tips to successfully make a new year’s resolution that you can stick to for good.

1) Just pick one thing

If you want to change your life or your lifestyle, don’t try to change everything at once (it just doesn’t work!). Instead, pick one area of your life to change to begin with.

Don’t pick a new year’s resolution that’s bound to fail either – like quitting coffee when your daily dosage is five cups a day or running a marathon when you get out of breath easily while climbing stairs. Perhaps you can start by resolving to taking a walk every day. When you’ve got that habit down, you can transit to running in short bursts, to constant running by March or April and a marathon at the end of the year. What’s the one habit you most want to change?

2) Pick a start date

You don’t have to make these changes on New Year’s Day. That’s the conventional wisdom, but if you truly want to make changes then pick a day when you know you’ll be well-rested, enthusiastic and surrounded by positive people.

Sometimes picking a date doesn’t work. It’s better to wait until your whole mind and body are fully ready to take on the challenge. You’ll know when it is when the time comes.

3) Go for it

On the big day, go for it 100%. Make a commitment and write it down on a card. You just need one short phrase you can carry in your wallet. Or keep it in your car, by your bed or even on your bathroom mirror for an extra dose of positive reinforcement.

4) Accept failure

If you do fail and sneak a cigarette or miss a walk, don’t hate yourself for it. Make a note of the triggers that caused this set-back and vow to learn a lesson from them. For example, if you know that alcohol makes you crave cigarettes and oversleep the next day, cut back on it.

Perseverance is the key to success. Try again, keep trying and you will succeed.

5) Plan rewards

Small rewards are great encouragement to keep you going during the hardest first days. Reward yourself once a week with a nice meet-up with friends, a relaxing spa, a trip to the movies or whatever makes you tick.

Subsequently, you can change the rewards to monthly and then at the end of the year you can pick an anniversary reward – something that you’ll look forward to. You deserve it and you have earned it!

Whatever your plans and targets are for 2017, we wish you luck keeping to them but always keep in mind that, it’s your life and you make your own destiny.

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