Last updated on Feb 11th, 2021 at 08:48 am

New Year, brand new beginnings. Everyone wants a fresh start. But since we’re often caught up in the whole celebratory vibe when we welcome a new year, chances are we tend to make over-ambitious decisions that set us up for failure, explains clinical psychologist, Dr Colinda Linde. “It’s important to keep things realistic,” she says. Rather take baby steps that are practical and achievable. Lead by example – encourage your children to do the same by walking the talk.

Your 5 step plan to keep your New Year’s resolutions:

1. Get fit but keep it real
Instead of undertaking to go to the gym or exercise daily, aim for 10 minutes if simple aerobic exercise like going for a walk, or to gym for 30 minutes two to three times a week.
Instead of cutting out all sugar, dairy and fat, start with one – or even smaller steps like not adding sugar to coffee or tea. The more realistic you are, the more likely you’ll be to incorporate the new habit into your life.

2. Have a power nap
Even a short 20-minute nap mid-afternoon when your baby or toddler snoozes or before the bath-supper-bed madness can help you to recharge. Set your alarm for 20 minutes and say to yourself: “Body and mind, I’m going to nap for 20 minutes and wake up at …pm (the time you have chosen), refreshed and alert.” Preparing your brain sets an expectation.

3. Time off
Whether you’re practicing your hobby, spending time outdoors or playing with your kids or your dog, be fully present.
Make sure you’re in the moment when enjoying me-time – whether it’s a pamper session, a solo walk or a candlelit bubble bath.

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4. Focus on quality
Spending 15 minutes’ quality time each day with each loved one (like a child-directed activity with each child) is far better than hours of not being fully present while endless to-do lists fester at the back of your mind.
Remember to put yourself into the equation. You also need 15 minutes a day to yourself.

5. Lead by example
Kids do what you do, not what you say. We all know this. Whether it’s the naughty word that slips out in traffic or scoffing down a chocolate before supper, children are little sponges who learn by example.
If you speak balance but demonstrate imbalance, they’ll either be confused or conflicted, or just model directly on your habits – good and bad.