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New Year's Resolutions

Good resolutions - and how to keep them

The 5 best tips for your new year's resolutions

New year, new luck - and new good resolutions, right? How disappointing that the average failure rate for New Year's resolutions is said to be about 80 per cent, and most lose their resolve by mid-February.
But with these 5 simple tips, you will manage to achieve your goals - either at sports or any other part of your life.

Be specific!

One of the main problems with good resolutions is in the way they are formulated. "Do more sports", "Spend more time with the family", "Eat fewer sweets": all these are rather nonspecific and leave (too) much room for interpretation and subjectivity.

Instead, resolutions and goals should be formulated as specific as possible and should be measurable. "Go running three times a week for an hour" therefore is very likely to lead to better results than just trying to "do more" sports.

Be realistic!

Even if your resolution is formulated in a perfectly specific and quantifiable way, you will surely miss it if it is completely unrealistic for you to achieve. If you haven't been running up to now, you just won't be able to suddenly do three runs of an hour per week.

That's why resolutions should include small steps for a start and should be compatible with your recent lifestyle. For the above-mentioned example, that means that running twice a week for maybe 15 to 20 minutes seems to be a much more realistic goal to achieve.

Bonus Tip: Leverage some of the fantastic mobile apps out there. For example, the Couch-2-5k app is fantastic at starting beginners out slowly and then increasing the distance and frequency as you progress.

Make it a habit!

This tip perfectly falls into line with the one before. Small changes are easily included in your everyday life and can be attached to habits you already have - making them habits as well.

If you e.g. put your running gear next to your bed before going to sleep, you can start right after getting up in the morning. If you are using your way home for a side trip to your gym, you will probably hit it more.

Stay flexible!

Sometimes circumstances out of your control can hinder you reaching your goals. For example, icy, winter roads and snow can quickly change your motivation to go for a run.

You should try to withstand the urge to just give in, but rather look for alternatives such as swimming at your local indoor swimming pool or running on an exercise machine at home or at your gym.

Write it down!

One of the easiest yet most effective ways to keep your new year's resolutions is to just write your goals down. It is important to do this the "traditional way" using paper and pen instead of your computer or smartphone. There is scientific evidence that handwriting activates significantly more brain areas than just typing words. By doing that, your plan becomes much more important and you can easier stick to it.

Bonus Tip: Tell people about your goal by posting your handwritten resolutions on a wall, the refrigerator, or online. Studies also show people who make their goals publicly are more likely to stick to them.

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