We all like to think we can make a change for the better at the start of each year.
But you're probably already back to your old tricks. Right?
Break your bad habits for good and stick to your 2013 resolutions by following these simple tips.
Your resolutions are more likely to work if they are more considered and less spur-of-the-moment promises. Avoid vague pledges, such as be more sociable, and be specific: "This year, I will join a book club." Write your resolution down and keep it somewhere you can see it everyday, to help keep you motivated. And remember, no resolution is too big or too small be realistic with what you think you can achieve.
Replacing bad habits with good habits can be exhausting. For example, if you are trying to lose weight you might find yourself constantly monitoring your eating habits and denying yourself foodstuffs you used to enjoy. You're only human, so be kind to yourself. Take it slowly and remember that making a big difference begins with small steps.
As Adelaide-based psychologist and life coach Dr Darryl Cross recognises: "People are more likely to stick to resolutions if they plan ahead." The SMART technique is a mnemonic used to set objectives Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely. It encourages people to set manageable goals and helps build willpower brilliant if you are having trouble getting to grips with self control.
Make your intentions clear
Break bad habits with the help of your friends. Whether your mates have been nagging you to stop smoking for years, or they haven't even noticed that you bite your nails when you are nervous informing them of your New Year's resolution can have heaps of positive results. Friends can offer encouragement and a watchful eye when you subconsciously reach for your lighter.
Plus, sharing your resolution might prompt someone else to join you providing a welcome support partner or result in a few tips and techniques from someone who has successfully quit. With mates regularly checking on your progress, you are less likely to give into moments of weakness and your determination to succeed (and share the good news with those around you) increases.
Adopt a new routine
As much as we might like to think we are free-sprits, we all have routines and things that we do every day without even thinking about them and these ingrained habits can have a positive or negative impact on our lives. You think you are too busy to take that art class, you have a few chocolate biscuits with an afternoon cup of tea, or you stumble into bed each night with your make-up still on.
Shake up your routine and become the master of your own destiny. Make time to do the things you are passionate about, stop walking past that cake shop or telephone your friends rather than emailing them. Whatever you want to achieve in 2013, you can sure it will be a lot easier if you make changes to your routine.
A form of self-hypnosis, visualisation therapy is thought to encourage activity in the right side of your brain, which is related to your creativity and emotions.
By adopting a series of mental images, in which you "see" yourself achieving goals, coming to terms with emotional anxiety or overcoming fears, the technique can be followed to help cure phobias, improve athletic ability and even bag that dream job.
Once you have your mind set on a particular goal, use your imagination to pursue it. This therapy is also good for your health while the mind is delving into unexplored realms, the rest of you is in healing mode and psychologists have found that during therapy a person's blood pressure and heart rate might fall. Good news for mind, body and soul.