Plan for success
NOBODY really knows exactly from whom, when or where the idea of new year's resolutions began.
Anyone who has ever made one can tell you how difficult it is to keep them. The idea behind a new year's resolution is that you reflect on the past, consider the new year in front, and then make a commitment to implement a change for the better.
These lofty goals are usually made while you are all geared up and intoxicated from saying goodbye to last year and seeing in the new year, which could probably have something to do with their (non)-success rate.
By the end of the first week 25% of promises are already broken. By the end of week two, the rate of broken promises rises to 29%. One month on, 36% of promises have not been kept. After six months, 66% of promises have been completely forgotten about. Only 8% of new year's resolutions make it to the end of the year.
Researchers attribute these poor success rates to the lack of proper planning to support the pledges.
For example giving up drinking for a whole year seems so easy in the first week of the new year, especially when you are already so hung over that you think you could never drink again! Failing to plan how you will get through Australia Day celebrations is where your resolution will come unstuck.
The most common new year's resolutions pertain to health or wanting to look good, with drinking less alcohol at the top of many lists - especially for men. I have to admit this one is at the top of my 2012 NYR list. It is really hard to go cold turkey, but if that's what you want to do - then go for it, and good luck, because you'll need it.
Moderating the amount that you drink or gradually tapering off the alcohol is a great start.
If you do most of your drinking at social events, try changing your catch-ups to a different time of day - like breakfast or brunch, when you will be less tempted to have a drink (or one would hope).
If you are unable to get out of the celebrations, make sure you take something along to your social gathering that you will enjoy drinking, that will make you feel comfortable and "fit in".
If your mates drink beer, maybe consider drinking ginger beer - cover it with a stubbie cooler and your mates will think you are drinking beer! If you are a wine drinker, there is also now a great range of tasty non-alcoholic wines on the market.
Set yourself a goal as to how much you will drink. Consider having the standard recommendation of no more than one standard glass for a lady or no more than two standard drinks for blokes.
If you are going cold turkey like I am, then consider throwing in a predetermined number of wild cards. I gave myself five wild cards to be used throughout the year whenever I feel like using them, but remember that binge drinking is dangerous and not recommended.
Writing down your reasons for wanting to cut down or stop drinking is also a good idea. Post them somewhere where you will see them daily. If one of your reasons is to lose weight, then put up a picture of what you want to look like next to your goals.