As the dawn of the new year approaches, it’s the time for us to look at new beginnings, or ending old habits. It’s easy to kick start a new year by doing really well, then the feeling of all those new motivations often dissipate back into old routines.

So, how do we keep up the momentum for our new year resolutions, and stick to them? Here are some tips that might help you.

Don't try and do everything at once, pace yourself

If you have a list as long as your arm of things to get done in the new year, and a lot of them are lifestyle changes, then you could be setting yourself up for a struggle. Try pacing things out.

Use your diary to space out what you want to achieve, adding milestones and a date of achievement.

If your resolutions are lifestyle changes then it’s more sustainable for the long term to change slowly.

Withdrawing from sugar, caffeine, and nicotine all in one go for example, is going to be a huge struggle as there is far too much for your body to cope with at once. Smaller steps are needed, like switching from coffee to green tea, or reducing sugar incrementally.

Focus on the end result

Focussing on how you will feel having achieved your goal will keep you focussed. If you find yourself struggling with your will power, think about the reasons you are doing this. Focus for a moment on how you will feel and harness that as your motivation.

Keep a list of the positive outcomes and reasons you are doing this so that you can refer to it when you need to.

Positive self talk

Positive self talk is especially powerful when you want to change your lifestyle.

If you want to lose weight, which is fairly common following the Christmas holidays, your focus needs to be on the positive health outcomes. Focussing on anything negative around this can damage your ability to see it through.

Keep your thoughts in check, remember you are in control of them. If what you are saying to yourself in your head is not something you would say to another person then you need to work on changing your thoughts. Be kind and encouraging to yourself.

Try using a mantra like – ‘I believe in myself and I succeed in everything I do.’ – say this over and over in your head until you believe it.

The time is now

Procrastination kills motivation. The more you put things off, the less likely it is that you will do them as you can lose sight of the goal. Go back to focusing on the end result. Look at why you are delaying this… are you fearing anything? Is it actually something you want? If you want it then focus on the end result, how do you feel? Get past the excuses you are giving yourself and get on with it, and enjoy it.

Each failure is another chance for success

If you fail or relapse, then remember you are on a journey. The important thing is to keep trying. Did you take on too much? Is there anything you can change? Always keep trying and stay positive. We are all human – failure now and then, is what helps us to succeed. Don’t dwell on it, learn from it, pick yourself up and move on.

Whatever your new year plans are, we wish you every success and a wonderful year.