Quitting Smoking? How to Keep Your New Year's Resolutions
One survey found that just over a third of 1st January resolutions never make it past the end of January, while around three quarters are broken at some point. Yet (according to the Journal of Clinical Psychology), around half of us make these commitments annually as we strive to reinvent ourselves.
It’s not hard to see why, even if the first days go well. In the cold, dark days of January, it’s all too easy to comfort eat, stay in and watch TV instead of hitting the gym. By the time December rolls around again, all too often, people find themselves back where they started.
It may be that, deep down, people simply aren’t ready to change their bad habits. Or some may have set themselves unrealistic goals, such as to stop smoking overnight. Equally, there may be false hopes that, by changing one aspect of your life, everything else will improve. When that doesn’t happen, it’s easy to become discouraged.
Real positive change almost needs the whole brain to be rewired, as you need to radically change your thinking. So it’s a tall order. Even tightly focused aims can go wrong.
There are things you can do to make resolutions easier. Focus on just one goal, for example, and don’t wait until 31st December to make it. Small steps, celebrated at each milestone, and checking in with a friend on your progress, can all help.
Equally, focus on changing your thought patterns as well as your behaviours. Concentrate on the present: what can you do right now to reach your goal?
When it comes to quitting smoking, for example, nicotine is a strongly addictive drug and so it’s no wonder that so many people struggle to become ex-smokers. e cigarettes, which continue to give ceasing smokers nicotine, are among the most effective tools on the path to achieving the health and financial rewards of stubbing out your last cigarette.
So by thinking of small things you can do right now, those New Year's resolutions once again come within your reach.