So How Are You Keeping Your New Year Resolution Thus Far?

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We have just entered the month of February and at the time of writing, just finished our Chinese New Year holidays. It’s time to do a reality check whether we are still maintaining our new year resolution- work-related and otherwise. According to research, more than half of all resolutions fail. But you also know New Year’s resolutions can be tough to maintain.

In my column today, I would just specifically share my experience of in committing myself to do daily brisk walking, literally by  turning myself, a rather passive person into a disciplined person who walks daily. This shall not only apply to exercise, it can be applied to work-related and otherwise.

I remember few years back when I met my buddies. The first thing they commented was I looked slimmer. And they wanted to know the secret. I just told them, “Just walk.” In this world of consumerism, that plain old and dull “walking” just doesn’t appeal to people. Moreover, people love the idea of “immediate and miraculous” panacea; but not the solution that has been proven to be effective: the time, effort and sweat that go into this activity. Now, coming back to the topic of how to keep your new year’s resolution such as exercise a lasting habit? My secret is, you don’t have to start on the first day of January. What I sense why people stop doing exercise altogether is because once they feel they have a bad start, that is about it. The sense of discouragement kicks in. Then brush the resolution aside. Next year, start to write a new year resolution again. I turned my passive lifestyle into an active one in the fourth quarter of that year. Somehow I knew that I just couldn’t walk 10,000 steps daily for the start, then I gave myself a more doable target. First month, 3,000 steps. Second month, 6,000 steps. By third month, 10,000 steps. I also notice something incredible when I started in the fourth quarter of that year, and with a doable target: I set myself up for momentum. Once you have set yourself up a certain momentum, you will carry that momentum into the new year. Then you will find yourself commencing your new year with so much energy, enthusiasm and confidence as you raise your glasses of champagne or wine for anew year.

Is there a way to galvanise self-control? Use your inner voice! Use self-talk to remind yourself the reasons behind this resolution and encourage your own motivation and capabilities. You will find yourself more able to manage your behaviour when you do self-talk. If your resolution is to grow a stronger working network, use self-talk to remind yourself about your bigger-picture goal of learning from others. Picture yourself about your confidence and capabilities in building relationships and new bonds will give yourself reassurance of achieving your goal.

You probably have heard the advice in order to be successful in your commitment and hold yourself accountable for achieving it. The truth is, self-control is contagious. Collaborate with co-workers who also want to learn a new skill at work and take online classes together. In addition, be selective about who you spend time with, choose to stay close with people who are good at expressing their own control. You will see the positive influence on your self-control.

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