On January 1st will you be amongst the 26.5 million people in the UK who make a New year’s resolution only to then go and break it months, weeks even days later?
The majority of resolutions people make are related to physical health and wellbeing, losing weight, getting fit, quitting smoking, reducing alcohol intake – sound familiar? Unfortunately they are also least likely to be completed.
The second most common group of resolutions relates to how we use our leisure time; working less, spending more time with the family, reading more, taking up a new hobby or interest and then you have the third group related to home improvements, for example clearing out the garage or organising the wardrobe, decorating the hall way.
It is very infrequent that we tend to make specific resolutions about our emotional health, possibly because although it may be our emotions that drive the need to make other resolutions, they are often hidden beneath the physical and practical manifestations of what we want to achieve. Making a specific resolution about improving emotional health can seem too intangible to even know where to start.
A major contributor to poor emotional health is worry and stress. If this gets out of control it can affect other areas that impact upon emotions, such as self-esteem, relationships, preoccupations and guilt. There is a very practical and proven way to help to reduce stress and improve emotional wellbeing, however, which is through massage and the great news is it is also enjoyable, something we often do to give ourselves a treat or reward ourselves for hard work.
So, a focus on improving emotional wellbeing, through regular massage therapy, as a first step towards achieving some of those other more practical goals, could be one New Year’s Resolution that is truly easy to make and keep.
Massage therapy should be carried out by a trained professional who can tailor their approach to your individual needs. There are numerous different massage approaches available so be sure to speak to your therapist about what you are trying to achieve. Massage is a proven, non-invasive way to reduce chronic stress levels in the body. Studies have shown that using massage to reduce stress is natural and safe and is a proven discipline within the medical community with scientific evidence supporting the use of massage for stress management.
How to keep your New Year’s Resolutions
According to psychologists there is a science to keeping your New Year resolutions; read on to find out how you can keep your resolution strong and achieve your goal.
- Set yourself short term goals, to achieve long term results. If you break up your resolution into small, manageable chunks then you improve your chances of success. So instead of resolving to be slimmer by losing two stone this year, try to make the goal losing two pounds a month, this is easier to achieve and you will be encouraged each time you succeed.
- Celebrate each little success. Give yourself a small treat every time you achieve one of your short term goals. After all you deserve it, just make sure it isn’t a treat that goes against what you are trying to achieve.
- Make your resolution about the journey and not the outcome. When you want to lose weight, sticking to a healthy diet and exercise routine is more important than the number on the scales, so make a plan to visit the gym more frequently and eat smaller portion sizes, which you can control along the way and the reduction in weight should follow.
- Schedule time to keep your resolutions. With busy lives it is hard to find the time to do the things you like, let alone keeping resolutions. So schedule that gym session into your diary, just as you would a meeting or parent’s day. Set an alarm half an hour before you need to leave, so you can’t back out because it’s too late to go.
- Get yourself a resolution buddy. Find someone who has the same resolution as you and help each other to stick with it. If one of you doesn’t feel like going to the exercise class the other one will hopefully provide the necessary encouragement.
- Tell everyone about your resolution. If you explicitly state your goal if feels more real. If you tell people they will look out for how well you are doing and you may be encouraged to keep going so you don’t lose face in front of them.
- Keep a record of your progress. Write down your progress and then you can keep track of how much you have achieved. On the days you feel disheartened you can take pride in what you have managed already.
- Don’t give up following small slips. If you have a moment of weakness, recognise it as that and keep going where you last left off. Remind yourself it won’t be easy, if it were it wouldn’t need to be a resolution.