It is about this time of year that people realise that their new year resolutions are not working out as well as they had hoped.
The losing weight/joining a gym/learning to speak Chinese plans that seemed so achievable on New Year’s Eve now seem less than appealing as your initial enthusiasm wanes.
As somebody who has been in that position plenty of times I thought I’d offer a little advice that might help you cling on to some hope of becoming the ‘new you’ that you want to be in 2014.
Don’t try to change everything at once.
Start off with one action (such as a daily walk, joining a gym or Harborough Athletics Club) and then promise yourself that you will stick with it whatever for just 30 days.
It takes us about this long to form a habit.
Once this new activity has become a habit, you can move on to another complementary goal (meat-free Monday) or an altogether different one (learning to speak Chinese).
I’d also recommend that for everything you give up (fried Mars bars) you take up something that’s positive (piano playing).
Finally, don’t do something just because other people tell you to do it. It has to be something that you want to do and are prepared to commit to.
If your heart isn’t really in it, then the chances of sticking to any resolutions are slim.
Ultimately, you will only achieve change if you are prepared to make a firm commitment – and stick to it.
Column by Alastair Campbell
Alastair is the managing director of The Ideal Marketing Company.
See their webiste at www.idealmarketingcompany.co.uk.