So we are here again, on the brink of another new year. We’re not really sure why the last year went so quick but it’s time to celebrate everything that it held. 2016 will soon roll in and is a chance for that fresh start that we all look forward to. Whether it’s beginning diets and detoxes, promising to live life that bit more or looking forward to events such as weddings, births and big birthdays, a new year has a lot to live up to but resolutions don’t have to be rules that you are dreading.

Why do we make them?

According to the history books we can blame the Babylonians for resolutions. The earliest recorded celebration honouring the coming of a new year was held by then. The festivities were dedicated to the rebirth of the sun god Marduk and the Babylonians made promises in order to get on the right side of their gods. They felt this would help them start the New Year on the right foot.
Then we move to the Romans who under Julius Caesar, decided to introduce the eponymously named Julian calendar which cited the New Year to start on January 1st. Again promises and sacrifices were made to the gods to ensure a prosperous new year.

Is it worth it?

Ok, so if we are brutally honest with ourselves we don’t really stick to those resolutions do we? In fact only 40% of people are still sticking to their resolutions when July rolls round according to an article by Mental Floss.

But of course the benefits if we do manage to stick to them can be fantastic. Depending on what your resolution is your physical health could see an improvement and there is also a massive benefit to your mental health too. The sense of achievement, determination and hopefully success can make a massive impact.

Your resolutions can be whatever you want them to be.

Succeed with your resolutions

The key thing to focus on is that resolutions don’t have to be restrictive. Although many people make resolutions to stop this, stop that, reduce this or give up the other, why not make resolutions to do something? To take up something, to start doing another, to do more of this or that. Your resolutions can be whatever you want them to be and making them something to make you happy or improve your lifestyle is surely the best way to move forward?

Here are some top tips to help you stick to your New Year’s resolutions:
Be realistic – unattainable goals are your enemy, change one small thing at a time.
Planning helps – don’t leave it until you wake up groggy on New Year’s Day plan ahead.
Develop a support network – you don’t have to tell the world but make sure you have friends or family that can support you on the difficult days where it could be make or break.
Measure your success – each week write down what you managed to achieve and you’ll see the progress you are making.
Reward yourself – if you’re on a diet we aren’t talking eat 5 chocolate bars after one successful day on a diet but treat yourself to a beauty treatment or new item of clothing, something that makes you happy.
Treat failure as a small setback – it’s not the end of the world. Don’t let it ruin your whole plan but learn from why you ‘fell off the wagon’ and you’re less likely to make the same mistake.

The key to New Year’s resolutions and keeping them is to make them challenging but something that you want to achieve. They don’t have to be a negative they can be a positive.

Why not make one of your resolutions be to learn a new skill, perhaps an adult education course – just a thought. Make 2016 your year and hopefully we’ll be a part of it too?

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