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10 ways to continue positive habits in February

 

Whilst there is always much jubilation and celebration for getting to the end of January, heading into February can bring it’s own challenges. In January we often pledge to eat healthier, exercise more, eat less sugar… the list goes on. But once we arrive in February, it can feel we’ve met a new dawn and in fact, one stat from the US News and World Reports found that 80% of new years resolutions fail by mid February.

So what can we do about this, when we do in fact feel committed to sticking to our new years resolution? You can of course try to make small habits instead of big grand resolution (read about how to do that here, but there also some things you can do in February to keep yourself focused on your goal.

 

 

So what can we do about this, when we do in fact feel committed to sticking to our new years resolution? You can of course try to make small habits instead of big grand resolution (read about how to do that here, but there also some things you can do in February to keep yourself focused on your goal.

 

This is a great one to get you started. Sit down with a notebook and pen and make a list of reasons you made your resolution in the first place. For example, if your resolution was to eat healthily, jot down all the reasons why you wanted to do that. Was it to eat more fruit and vegetables? Was it to improve your mood? Was it to lose some weight? Whatever the reasons were, write them down and then remind yourself what your thoughts were behind the reason and how you wanted the resolution to make you feel. If it was to save money for example, perhaps the resolution was about getting some control back or relieve some anxiety over money. Associating your feelings with the reasons will remind you why you set yourself this goal in the first place.

 

 

 

Trying to keep a broad resolution like ‘eating healthy’ is extremely difficult, when you haven’t plotted out small and manageable ways you can actually make this happen.

Turn to a fresh page in your notebook and write your resolution in the middle of the page. Now mind-map around it all the ways that you can realistically achieve this. Realistically is really the key here – there is no point writing down that you will eat 5 new vegetables a day, when you know you don’t have the capacity with work/social/other commitments to make this happen. Equally if your goal was to exercise more, don’t write ‘exercise everyday’, because the likelihood is, this is unachievable and will evoke feelings of failure if you don’t do it.

Make the steps manageable and realistic in your life. So for eating healthy, perhaps it could be ‘eat one plant based meal a week’ or ‘try a new piece of veg or fruit 3 times a week’. Small changes ultimately build for a bigger change in the long run and you’re more likely to see results.

 

 

 

 

In keeping with the above, consider different ways you can achieve your goal. The way in which you planned to achieve it might not work, and so it’s good to have a plan B or C you can turn to – it’s all in the preparation. For example, you might have said that you’ll save money by putting XXX away every month, but then your child starts swimming lessons and eats into that XXX every month. At this point be prepared to think of another way to reach that end goal, rather than sacrificing something else important.

 

 

Success can be found in flexibility, because ultimately life cannot be planned for sometimes and this means you may need to adapt. Flexibility doesn’t mean failure, it just means taking a small diversion.

 

 

Having someone around to hold you accountable and help you stay on track is also extremely helpful. Perhaps that is your partner or friend eating some healthy meals with you, or going along to exercise classes with you. It’s much harder to say no when you have someone cheering you on and encouraging you.

 

 

This is probably one of the most important ones when it comes to reaching or achieving self set goals. We can be our own worst critics and therefore it is easy to beat ourselves up when something doesn’t go right, or it’s not happening as quickly as we’d like it to. Being kind to ourselves is essential to succeeding.

 

 

 

Using your notebook where you documented your reasons for your goals and your steps to achieving it, it’s also a great idea to document your progress each day. I would recommend getting yourself a journal or a diary, and documenting for 5 minutes at the end of the day how you are getting on and what you achieved today, and what you hope to achieve tomorrow. It’s another great way of checking in on yourself and something to look back on when you need reassurance.

 

 

Of course, a little treat for your hard work wouldn’t go amiss either! Reaching a milestone in your resolution, or even just sticking to your plan over a week or a fortnight deserves some kind of reward, whatever that may be.

 

 

Whatever you are trying to achieve, there will undoubtedly be people in your social circles who have already accomplished it. Don’t be afraid to reach out to them and ask how they did it. A few words of inspiration or a tip you hadn’t thought of might be all you need to power you through the next weeks or months.

 

At the end of the month, look back at your progress and give yourself a pat on the back. This is another key time to look over what you have done and ask yourself, is this really working for me? Am I getting to where I want to be? If the answer is yes, then brilliant, continue with all of the above steps to keep smashing that goal. But if the answer is no, don’t be afraid to revaluate and try another method to make that resolution part of the daily fabric of your life.

 

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