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How to Stick to Your New Year's Resolutions in 2020

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"The plans of the diligent lead surely to abundance, but everyone who is hasty comes only to poverty.” - Hebrew proverb

Have you ever made New Year's resolutions? Chances are, you have done so at least once. The wonderful thing about time is that with the turn of a year, we see it as an opportunity to start afresh. I suppose that is how resolutions came about: the good intention to start life again on a blank slate.

It’s easy to set a goal, yet difficult to follow through or finish well. It is not uncommon to overhear a jaded adult say, "Why set resolutions if you can’t even stick to them?” True enough, New Year resolutions have become a cliche not taken seriously anymore, but mostly because so many want to make them, but not many want to follow through with them.

However, failing to stick to resolutions is no excuse for not making them! Whether you call them resolutions, goals, targets, or whatnot, we believe that they can be achieved if you just make a proper plan to sustain them. Here are some simple habits you can adopt so that you can see your resolutions last beyond just the first month of 2020.

1. Write them down.

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The first step of accountability to your own goals is to write them down. Writing out your dreams and ideas offers clarity, and gives them a body and being. Until you see them on paper or surface, they remain stuck in your mind. The power of writing something down also ensures that you will get reminded of it the next time you look at it. Of course, do make sure that these notes are easy to retrieve - stick them on your refrigerator, create a daily phone reminder of your goals, or make them your phone/desktop computer wallpaper.

2. Share them with leader and mentor figures you trust.

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Now we’re getting serious. We talked about being accountable to yourself; now you build accountability to others. This might sound like an unpopular opinion (“Why do I need someone to keep me accountable? I’m an adult and I don’t need another set of parents”). However, here’s the harsh truth - through our own eyes, we only see one perspective of ourselves, and sometimes, we let ourselves off the hook. People who love you and spend time with you are able to tell you things that you might not be able to see. As such, it is good to share your goals with them, so that they can call you out when you go off-track, or encourage you when you feel like giving up. In fact, sharing your goals with a mentor figure could even allow them to see better ways to help you get closer to what you desire to achieve.

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For instance, are you aiming to get promoted to a new belt in 2020? Speak to your professor about this desire - a good professor would not put you down for voicing out such a goal but will be able to tell you objectively how to get there, and whether you will be able to do so within the time frame you set for yourself. It is so much better to have direction and steps offered by someone who has a better vantage point than you in the situation. It’s not all bad to have community!

3. Set smaller actions.

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In our previous point, we talked about taking steps to achieve a certain goal. Perhaps you want to lose weight, get a job promotion, write a book, or save $10,000. This is easy, and you might think doing one or two things daily could get you there. Perhaps. However, it is hard to define when you’ll reach your destination.

As such, it is important to create small action plans and milestones. Want to lose weight? How much? If losing 10 kilos in one year is your goal, create monthly or quarterly targets to achieve (for example, 2 kilos in two months). Also, create sustainable and incremental action plans that you can follow through with. Trying to go on a no-sugar diet might work for a short term weight cut plan, however, your misery and lethargy will lead you to giving up after some point. Instead of creating crash diet solutions, work on a nutritional and fitness plan that you can ease into, and eventually love to the point that you want to make this a lifestyle. Not only can that goal of losing 10 kilos in a year happen, but you might also end up feeling healthier and stronger, picking up new habits, and changing your lifestyle completely. Isn’t that so much better?

4. Recognise what is within your control. Hint: Not everything is.

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Many people are unhappy because they feel like so many things in their lives do not go their way. The truth is, life can be like vapour and the way it works out can sometimes be out of your grasp. You cannot control everything.

Instead of getting upset that certain outcomes are different from your expectations, ask yourself what you can control. It is commonly said about relationships, “You cannot control how someone behaves, but you can control how you respond.” This is applicable to your circumstances. Perhaps, you set out to win a tournament but fell short. What was within your control? Your training and diligence. What was out of your control? How your opponent would react. Favour might have gone to your opponent that day, but it does not take away the fact that you put in the effort. And for that, you can also control your response by being proud of yourself for stepping up to the challenge and for working hard.

When things do not go your way, there is an opportunity to blame others, or feel like a failure. Choose to keep on moving forward with kindness towards yourself, honour towards others, and a focus on all the blessings that have taken place in the midst of your journey. (You’d find a few if you looked hard enough.)

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If you are all set to make some new goals in your fitness and martial arts journey this 2020, don’t hesitate to speak to an instructor at FaMA. We can’t wait to be a part of your journey!

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FaMA - Fitness and Martial Arts Established in 2016, FaMA is a world-class martial arts academy located in the heart of the Central Business District in Singapore. Walking distance from Clarke Quay and Fort Canning MRT stations, FaMA’s main goal is to help people improve their lives through martial arts regardless of age or athletic capability. Our Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ), Muay Thai Kickboxing, Kids Martial Arts and Fitness programs are led by experts in their respective fields. So, whether it is weight loss, a fun workout, camaraderie, competition training, or just to break a sweat, FaMA has something for the whole family.

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