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Ditch the New Year Resolution Struggle

Sarah Armstrong

Sarah Armstrong

Is keeping up with your New Year’s resolution proving to be more of a challenge than you anticipated? Don’t be so hard on yourself, it may be time to take a slightly different approach to help you achieve your goals with these top tips from Sarah Armstrong, founder and director of Cambridge Weight Plan, Hong Kong.

Why do we set ourselves New Year’s resolutions that lead to failure and frustration? Why do many of us feel the need to be slimmer, fitter, impossibly younger? This year, try a different approach and celebrate each successful step on the way.

  1. Break it Down
    If you must make a resolution, break it in to manageable chunks. Yes, it’s aspirational to aim for a 100km ultramarathon across the Gobi desert, but how about starting by walking for 30 minutes three times a week, and building up your targets slowly, safely, and successfully? By setting a target that is too difficult you may fail and the negative emotions will kick in. A realistic target gives you a good chance of success.
  2. Celebrate Your Success
    Celebrate each milestone and the progress you are making. Does it really matter if you do your marathon next year – or even the year after? Think about this: if you tell yourself that you will avoid alcohol for four days per week and you only manage three days, the feeling is failure. If you say that you will do it for three days and you manage three days, then you have been successful. The number of days is the same!
  3. Set Clear Intentions
    Think about the “WHY”. You want to lose weight, but why? Focus on the reasons for your resolution and decide whether those reasons are really what you want for your happiness. Be clear on what you want to achieve and the reasons for it.
  4. Don’t Put Too Much Pressure on Yourself
    Think about the difference between, “I ought to …” and, “If I really wanted to, I could …”. The first is all about pressure and negativity and the second gives you choice and control. “I must, I should, I ought to, I need to…” are all laden with pressure and a sense of obligation, a sense of having to do something that we don’t really want to do. “I ought to go to the gym after work” will hang over you all day like a threat. “If I want to, I could go to the gym after work” sounds like an option, and keeps you in control. So, use “if I want to, if I choose to, I can …”
  5. Don’t Compare Yourself to Others
    You are you, with all your life experiences, relationships, health issues, and personality. Accept yourself and your individuality. Think about how you talk to yourself – would you talk to a friend that way? You wouldn’t tell your friend that she was useless and lazy would you, so why talk to yourself like that?

    Be kind to yourself. You are doing the best you can, and that’s good enough.

Find out more! Find out how Cambridge Weight Plan can help you reach your health goals and visit their website.


Read more! Find out How To Become a Healthier Hong Konger, and How To Manage Stress.

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