With work back in full flow and our chaotic lives resuming, following a fun-filled and relaxing festive season, it comes as no surprise that many are already struggling to stick to New Year’s resolutions. Here’s when Quitter’s Day is and how to beat it.
January isn’t the most pleasant of months with Christmas and New Year’s Eve behind us and the daunting prospect of a New Year ahead.
However, it’s also a month full of opportunity and a chance to hit the reset button amid the busyness of day-to-day life. It can present new beginnings and a way to instil life-changing habits.
The second Friday in January, each year, is known as Quitter’s Day and there’s a double whammy this year as it falls on Friday, 13th January.
It’s a day when the month has already taken its toll on many, and those who set themselves New Year’s resolutions decide to give up.
So, if you’ve been teetering on the edge of giving up on Dry January, tucking into a steak in the midst of Veganuary, or skipping that lunchtime run, we’ve got a range of tips from nutritionists, personal trainers and sobriety experts on how to power through.
Remember why you’ve made your New Year’s resolution
While it can be tempting to quit and give up on New Year’s resolutions, try to remember the exact reason that spurred you on to set yourself the goal of quitting drinking, eating healthier, doing something creative daily or exercising more.
Consistency is key – even if it’s a tiny change
From dark mornings to the cold winter air, January doesn’t make it easy to spring out of bed and make the most of your day.
However, we are sometimes guilty of overcomplicating our goals or making them a tad too hard, which also makes sticking to them far trickier.
Try to make life a little easier for yourself by trying considering the following things:
- Even going for a 20-minute walk is better than not exercising at all, you don’t have to go to the gym daily
- If you’ve said you’ll cut out takeaways, think about the fact that you could whip up an easy meal in the 30 minutes it takes for your food order to arrive
- While one drink might not hurt on a night out, is it worth the guilt you’ll feel later for having that one blip in an otherwise-perfect sobriety run?
- Break your goals down into monthly milestones – this makes things seem much more achievable and allows you to celebrate little wins
Don’t underestimate the power of tiny changes, such as cutting out a can of Coke every lunchtime. The cumulative impact of one small change can still be incredible. Don’t be hard on yourself, and take your time – fitness doesn’t have to be overwhelming.
Fail to prepare, prepare to fail
It can be so easy to wing it and believe that, as you’ve made this mental promise to yourself, you’ll stick to your resolutions. However, we’re only human and you’ll soon find a little bit of planning goes a long way.
Some easy ways to prepare for your resolutions include setting a reminder and blocking out time daily, putting a calendar on your wall and ticking off each day you stick to your plan, and noting down your plan for each day in a list.
One way to minimise gym anxiety, particularly in the weight room, is to have a plan in place beforehand, so you know exactly what you need to do and where you need to go.
Accountability and support will help you on your way
Temptation is never far away, particularly when social plans with your friends revolve around the one thing you’re giving up.
While we know it isn’t realistic to avoid seeing your friends for the whole of January or avoiding walking past your favourite takeaway joint until February, there are easy ways to stick to your resolutions.
Believe in yourself
As corny as it may sound, lacking self-belief will instantly set you on the path for failure. If you’re constantly telling yourself you ‘can’t do it’ or you’ll ‘never stick to it’, your mind will believe that, too.
Implementing a new habit into your lifestyle is tricky enough as it is, so try to avoid putting mental barriers in the way of your progress.
For example, gyms can be daunting places and there’s endless opportunity to compare yourself to those around you. You may think you’ll never get to their level when it comes to strength or stamina, but everyone starts somewhere and they’re likely to have been in the exact same place as you.
Where you will be by next January is completely your choice.