Come January, people start thinking about new year resolutions. They enrol for training courses to get a new job, join gyms to get fit or maybe even go on cabbage diets to lose weight.
How is it then, that by February, many of these good intentions are dropped or forgotten?
Lets take the Cabbage Diet as an example. Here are 3 reasons why it rarely works - and what you need to do instead.
If you live on cabbage or some other food for a few days to lose weight, food will never be far from your mind - the food that you can't have, that is.
You may be lucky and start to lose some weight, but once you go back to your normal diet, you are likely to make up for being deprived by eating even more of the unhealthy food that put the weight on in the first place. One option is to cut back slowly on the bad stuff, start taking more exercise and aim to stop obsessing about food.
In the same way, don't sign up with a course if it means that you won't have time to be with your friends and family - you will end up resenting it. It's important to make your goal plan one part of your life - not the sole focus.
If you hate cabbage, it will be very hard to keep eating it to the exclusion of other foods. And you will be disappointed with yourself when you give up. So give some thought to what you like doing (or eating) before you begin. You may be surprised at how many alternatives there are out there once you start to look - for example adding a smoothie for breakfast or snacking on fruit instead of biscuits.
Similarly, you may have decided to go to the gym, when in fact you would be much happier doing lengths in the pool - and you can still achieve the same goal.
A lot of small, easy new year resolutions that you can achieve is much more satisfying than setting yourself up for failure with an impossible goal.
I once listened to someone say they were going to write a blog every day of the week for the year. That included weekends, holiday time and family occasions. Once the first roadblock came along, the goal was dropped. So be less ambitious - for example, set a goal to write a blog once a week for 3 months. And repeat the process if it works. Or plan to get a qualification over 2 years instead of 1 year, to give you breathing space.
You may be anxious to lose a lot of weight quickly on a cabbage diet.. but a lot of it is likely to be fluid.
New year resolutions that are worth achieving often take more work and time than we realise. It's not always easy, but avoiding the pitfalls above can help!