Pile of delicious red apples

Learn how to keep new year’s resolutions: start with an apple a day

Pile of delicious red apples

Apples

I am eating all the apples to keep my resolutions sweet.

Did you set yourself any resolutions for 2017? How long did you keep them for? Did you know that 17 January is Ditch New Year’s Resolutions Day? Did your get that far?

Why do we do so badly with our resolutions? Perhaps we take on far too much. We want to make huge changes, to overhaul our very being, so we make promises to ourselves and create a monumental list of significant and self-altering resolutions. Sigh, been there, done that.

Often we don’t have a plan as to how to achieve these changes (setting SMART goals would be a better approach) and we try to rely on willpower to muscle us through. After a while, willpower runs out, temptations surround us and we fall back into our old habits, which are, lets face it a simpler way of life: resolution broken.

It doesn’t help that we get swept along with the idea of a “New Year, New You”, but seriously, was the old you really so bad.

I decided to take a different approach this year. I thought I’d start small, I decided not call it a “resolution”, instead, it was a kind of promise to myself. I am generally a healthy eater; I get vegetables into my meals with relative ease (so, maybe the lentil pancake breakfast experiment was maybe a step too far). But fruit, fruit has always been my Achilles. At primary school I had a piece of fruit everyday at playtime. It took my parents a long time to work out that my cuffs were, that, filthy because of the orange juice running down my little arms. Err, yes,  I used to hold the orange up when I peeled and ate it, weird, I know (I have visions of a little me holding my orange as if it were a offering to the gods before eating) we moved on to apples after that, pretty sharp-ish. But, as an adult, I’ve been more intermittent and kind of hit-and-miss with my fruit eating, I admit, I just don’t get enough.

This year I decided to change that, the easiest way I knew how: an apple a day. I’ve made it my mission to eat an apple every day of the year.

You know what, its working; I’ve eaten 31 apples so far this year. I’m trying to keep down the air miles/food miles and be seasonal by eating British grown apples.  As of the end of January I know that I love Braeburn and Galla is ok. I’m looking forward to discovering other British grown apple varieties this year. You’ll see that I am keeping track of my apple habit on Instagram. 

Resolutions do not need to be earth-shattering to make a difference. Small things can make big differences: I’m reminded of the quote from the Dalai Lama:If you think you are too small to make a difference, try sleeping with a mosquito.” If your “resolution” is a big one, make sure there is a simple plan of action and lots of easy ways to implement that plan.

If your resolution didn’t last and you didn’t  make the change you wanted to last month, why not re-visit it in February? Is it really that important to you? If it is, take another approach, break it down to the essence of what you to achieve, see if you can do one small thing different through February that will get you to where you want to go to. Re-set and try again, but don’t forget to be kind to yourself.

Your turn

Create a goal (I will do X by X, using X) rather than a lofty aspiration (I will change X)

Don’t be over ambitious with your goal setting; be kind to yourself and you’ll avoid the downsides of setting goals (one study has found that this can include being overly focused on the goal to the detriment of other areas in your life and potentially unethical behaviour in pursuit of the goal). Focus is great, beating yourself up is not cool.

Be inspired: Read about how little and specific changes can make huge differences, as part of Malcolm Gladwell’s book  The Tipping Point

Be inspired: Make a change with a bit of help from the professionals. Do Something Different was set up by Professors Ben Fletcher and Karen Pine as a way to help people to achieve their goals and make changes.

As for my apple habit, follow me on Instagram to see if I keep it up.

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