FabAfriq Magazine

New Year, cleaner you: our guide to a bright new year!

It is a new year, the resolutions are sorted and we are still trying mercilessly to make sure we keep it this year. Unlike many other years, we have fallen prey to the promises we made to ourselves. Author and psychologist Richard Wiseman, carried out a research which found out that 52% of resolution-makers were confident that they’d achieve their goals, yet only 12% succeeded. FabAfriq Magazine has put together an easy guide to keeping the “New year new” until December 2012!
Share the year
Many people make it an *I* year, meaning everything they wish for is for their benefit. “I want a better job, a nicer car, a healthier lifestyle, a slimmer body, a husband/wife” and so forth. It is okay to want all these things, but what you need to understand is that it takes two to tangle. Think of who can help you achieve it and incorporate this to your overall strategy. Discussing with your fitness instructor, your local nutritionist or your career advisor could be a good way to ensure you are taking the right steps.   It will work out better for you to start your New Year’s resolution by planning at least 2 months before the New Year. By so doing, you will gradually get into the habit before the New Year kicks off. People who set step-by-step goals or tell their friends and family are far more likely to achieve their desires than those who make no specific commitments.
Change your lifestyle
You must have heard from other sources that the simplest things like changing small habits within your everyday routine could work for you best. So, changing your lifestyle in the areas that need change is the best way to start it. Some people want to change their jobs, their eating habit, their drinking habits, etc. Changing your lifestyle by say walking  to work, getting off a few stops earlier on the bus, parking a good 20 minutes walk away from work or simply taking a look at what you eat can really make a big difference. Write down the things you want to achieve and the timeframe. It would help to have a positive attitude towards your resolutions and to know why you want to achieve it. If you are able to establish what you’ll get after you achieve your goals, then you’ll be more motivated to achieve it or see it past January. The key is to stay on track, focused, and positive.

Make it SMART
Most people set goals without knowing how they want to achieve it, others set big, nebulous goals which is not realistic at all. The SMART objective is applicable to anything you want to achieve in life, so it is better to keep it specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timely. We know there is not enough time in the day, but instead of saying “I’ll be healthier”, set a plan of what you’ll eat, where and how you’re get it, who else is involve in your diet plan etc. If you have kids, determine how you’ll cater for them without interrupting your own routine.  
 Be determined
Most people let self sabotaging chatters to destroy their plans even before they start. For instance, a friend once said “I am useless, I can never lose weight” Everyone is good at something, especially what they are determined to do. It is normal to fear or doubt, but how you overcome these is actually what you should plan for. Our advice is to keep the future closer to you look at the progress you have made so far, the efforts you have put in, the compliments you have received from others, and move past your doubts. Remember why you embarked on the journey in the first place and see if your life will be better after your achievement. 
Ideally, it is better to Keep track of what you achieve and how often you “unset” your goals, if you find negative thoughts surfacing, do not criticise yourself, but stay positive and re-strategise on how to move past these negatives feelings. If you find it uncomfortable or stressful at time, try a breathing exercise, meditation, yoga, etc. Try to be still because the more practice you have being still and calm, the more present you’ll be for each step of achieving your goals
Pair up

Statistics have shown that collective activities rip more results. Having a group, partner, or friend, to encourage you can be a great way to keep you going. A friend can jog with you even if she does not need to lose weight, a sibling can join you in your new diet even if she does that only when you are eating together, a partner can walk with you to work even if they do it just once a week. Try finding a friend who has a similar resolution, and check in with each other every week to talk about your progress and challenges. Or, ask a family member or significant other to keep you accountable—just make sure they’re supportive and positive.

Some people also seek professionals who can help tackle larger, looming issues such as low self-confidence or a lack of direction. If you are dealing with issues of self-doubt, these can seriously get in the way of you meeting your other goals—so do yourself a favour, and address such issues head on.

We wish you a happy 2012 and we hope you achieve your objectives. If you have other tips on how to stay on top of your resolutions, please share with other readers. Below are some of the the resolutions we set...

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