Marie Claire (South Africa) - - FILTER -

BY 1 JAN­UARY you will be feel­ing en­er­gised, op­ti­mistic and raring to take over the world. (OK, maybe by 2 Jan­uary.) I al­ways start the New Year with the best in­ten­tions to im­prove my health, at­tain ca­reer suc­cess and be­come more or­gan­ised. But I can’t re­mem­ber the last time I kept all my res­o­lu­tions to Fe­bru­ary. It’s akin to ex­plod­ing out of the start­ing blocks Usain Bolt-style but giv­ing up half­way through the race.

Seems to me there needs to be a change in our res­o­lu­tion plan­ning. I’m think­ing that in­stead of hav­ing a big list of all the things you want to change,rather have a smaller list of things you would like to fo­cus on each month.For ex­am­ple,if you want to quit smoking, start the year by re­search­ing the best op­tions avail­able to help you. Once you feel you are mak­ing progress, you could ded­i­cate Fe­bru­ary to im­prov­ing your diet and be­gin­ning an ex­er­cise pro­gramme. After all, come Fe­bru­ary, all those overzeal­ous gym im­pos­tors who be­gan pre-dawn spin­ning classes on a high have crashed and burned, leav­ing the gym less crowded.

I’m not a ther­a­pist but I do know New Year’s res­o­lu­tions don’t work for a lot of us.Tack­ling one task at a time puts you in a bet­ter po­si­tion to suc­ceed.So this year I’ll be ded­i­cat­ing a month to health, then fi­nances, ca­reer, re­la­tion­ships and so on. That way, even if I do hit stum­bling blocks, I won’t use the ex­cuse of hav­ing to wait un­til the next year to give my res­o­lu­tions another go. Care to join me?

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