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How to keep your New Year resolutions

Let’s assume you made some New Year resolutions and one or more of those involved swimming. (If you didn’t, here are some suggestions we made last year)
The question is, how do you ensure you stick to your resolutions?
Regular pool swimmers and gym goers know that pools and gyms are always crowded in January. It usually takes about six weeks for numbers to return to their usual levels with very few of the New Year resolution visitors sticking it out.
Why is that?
Firstly it’s easy to make non-specific resolutions such as “get fit” or “do more swimming” – but these don’t really help. It’s hard dragging yourself to the gym or the pool or the lake so most of us need something more than will-power to do it.
Secondly, resolutions can be quickly forgotten as soon as we get busy with work. We need reminders.
One trick then is to include a commitment that’s hard to break or undo. For example, you could enter a race in a foreign country and book non-refundable flights and accommodation at the same time. That way, if you don’t train for it you will feel you have wasted your money and it will be a powerful incentive to keep going. Guilt works. It’s also easy to remember (and look forward to) an exciting trip (with a swim attached) than to keep reminding yourself to go training.
Alternatively, commit to a team event (e.g., a Channel relay). Letting yourself down is easy enough but it’s much harder to let your team mates down – you’ll also have other people to train and compare notes with, which will also help your motivation.
Thirdly, if you haven’t done so already, join a club. There are open water clubs and groups sprouting up all over the place but if you can’t find one of those try a masters swimming club or a triathlon club. Swimming with other people is a great way to improve. Also, most swimming clubs are very sociable and that can be a big help to keep you swimming.
Whatever swimming goals you’ve decided on for 2015, we wish you good luck and look forward to hearing about your swims.

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I created Outdoor Swimmer in 2011 (initially as H2Open Magazine) as an outlet for my passion for swimming outdoors. I've been a swimmer and outdoor swimmer for as long as I remember. Swimming has made a huge difference to my life and I want to share its joys and benefits with as many people as possible. I am also the author of Swim Wild & Free: A Practical Guide to Swimming Outdoors 365 a Year and I provide one-to-one support to swimmers through Swim Mentoring.