How to keep your New Year’s Resolutions
It’s a new year, and many of us have decided to get healthy by exercising more. Walking and cycling help us feel better, look better and live longer. 55% of car journeys are under 5 miles. It only takes around 25 minutes to cycle that far.
But studies have shown that only one in five people manage to keep their new year’s resolutions. Follow these simple strategies to raise your chances of succeeding dramatically:
1. Set realistic goals
Try to include short sessions of cycling or walking into your daily travel patterns. By substituting one form of behaviour for another, you’ll find it much easier to create a new habit. Instead of focusing on how much you weigh or a vague goal of ‘getting fit’, try to focus on a specific activity and how often you’re going to do it.
Some good goals might be:
- I will walk or cycle to work or to the shops three times a week.
- I will walk or scoot with my children to school three times a week.
- I will walk home from school or college every day.
- I will walk or cycle to the bus stop or train station.
- I will take the bus or train to work twice a week. Even the short walk from the bus stop or train station to your place of work is good exercise.
- I will park my car further away from work and walk in. Try using the Salisbury Park & Ride.
2. Break your goal into smaller steps
If you want to get walking, think about starting once or twice a week and increasing up to five times a week. Or try driving part-way to start with. Try out some different route using our maps or journey planner.
If you want to get cycling have a look at our getting started pages. Maybe try some weekend rides for the first few weeks to try out the routes at a slower pace.
3. Tell your friends
Having support from other people can help keep you on track.
4. Record your progress
Seeing how far you’ve come can help keep you going. There are many web tools, but a simple diary, calendar or wall chart is just as effective.
5. Reward yourself
Celebrate each time you achieve a step on the way to your goal. You could try putting a gold star on a wall chart, buying a new bike accessory or pair of shoes, or indulging in the next episode of your favourite tv series.
And remember, if you miss a target, that’s ok. Just keep trying.