Sun | Dec 4, 2016

Resolution: A chance to start over

Published:Sunday | December 28, 2014 | 12:00 AM

Cathy Risden, Lifestyle Writer

It's very easy to make New Year's resolutions in the heat of enthusiasm and excitement, which we all do every year. But the difficulty comes with sticking to them.

Yoga instructor and founder of Live Fit Transformational Detox Programme, Sharon Feanny, told Outlook that she believes that New Year's resolutions are important because they give everyone a chance to start over "When we are able to overcome the negative habits, actions and thought patterns that keep holding us back from living a life of fulfilment, we are able to be all that we are meant to be on this earth," she said.

Life coach Coleen Dierdrick concurs, explaining that resolutions are identified after you have completed your self-evaluation, which takes focus, planning persistence and determination.

Before doing your self-evaluation, Feanny believes that you should make an intention rather than a resolution, which sets you up for success. "If your goal is to lose 20 pounds in 2015, then make your intention to eat a high -vitality, supernutritious diet and exercise for one hour, six days a week. If you do this, you will achieve your goal. If you just say 'I'm going to lose 20 lbs' and you don't have a plan, it will never work. All you do is set yourself up for frustration and failure."

Feanny also said that, if after your self-evaluation, your intentions are the same as the ones you had five years ago, now is the time to recommit to you.

Dierdrick and Feanny shared with Outlook some helpful advice on how to create and stick to your New Year's resolutions.

Realise your dreams one day at a time. Dierdrick said you should identify your goals and believe they are achievable. Overcome and eliminate bad practices and unhealthy habits and pace yourself to avoid feeling pressured. Feanny noted that science says it takes 21 days to create a new habit or release an old one, so don't give up on your intentions. Change does not happen overnight. It takes work, so be gentle and patient with yourself.

Write down your intentions. Change is consistent action over time. "Print out your intentions and put them somewhere where you can see them every day - making them your phone screen saver is a great idea," advises Feanny. Dierdrick advised that you create a step-by-step process by breaking down the resolutions in workable parts and adding a reasonable timeline.

Make the time to record your progress. Dierdrick said that it is important to keep track of your activities, because it will boost your efforts. You are also to celebrate the achievement of each intention you have outlined, as this is positive movement in the direction you consider to be desirable.

Seek support. Feanny believes that you should tell all the important people in your life your intentions and ask for their support. "The more you put your intentions out there, the more assistance you will receive." Dierdrick said that this support system forms a protective net that can help to keep you motivated and accountable. Feanny notes that it is important that you stay away from people who do not want to see you succeed. "We only have one life to live. We can do anything we set our minds to. Take a moment before New Year's Day and create five intentions that are important to you. Be as specific as you can, then commit to doing something towards them every day and watch your dreams come true."

cathyrisden@gleanerjm.com