We’ve all made New Year’s Resolutions that we’ve barely kept until daybreak on January 2. We’ve got some tips to help you steel yourself to make lasting change in your life.
Ask yourself: Are your goals realistic?
We often over-promise and under-deliver. It’s good to be ambitious, but we also have to be realistic. If you’ve set yourself impossible goals, think about scaling back your expectations: rather than promising to quit gambling cold turkey, resolve to start by giving us a call or checking out the Gambling Help Online forums.
Don’t give up, get up.
Sometimes we have an all-or-nothing mentality that tells us that if we stumble on January 3, there’s no point getting up and trying again on January 4. That’s nonsense. Think of it this way: if you trip on your shoelaces, you don’t just lie down in the street for the rest of your life. You get up, tie a double-knot in those laces, and keep on going. Your approach to your resolutions needs to be the same. If you falter, it’s ok. Get up. Keep going.
Don’t think you have to rely on will power alone.
If there are practical steps you can take to resist your urges, take them:
- Leave your credit or debit card at home, and limit your access to cash.
- Confide in a trusted friend or family member and ask them to be your resolution buddy.
- Sign up for a voluntary self-exclusion program to ban yourself from specific venues or online services.
Celebrate your success!
Treat every day that you stick to your resolution as a success, and over time reward yourself for your achievements in whatever way feels right to you: take the kids to the beach, treat the people who have supported you to dinner at a nice restaurant, or put your savings into a fund for a family trip to see the pyramids. Take time to celebrate by doing things that make you feel good.
The Gambling Help Online forum is a great place to connect with peers with lived experience of issues related to gambling. If you’re struggling with your resolutions or just want to share your success, visit our NY Resolution thread to tell us all about it. Your peers can inspire you, congratulate you, or commiserate with you. You’re not alone.
Most importantly: persevere.
You can do this, but you have to choose to. The only person that can make this change is you. You can do this. You just have to keep going.