Struggling to Stick to Your New Year’s Resolution? Here’s How to Stay Motivated

Anna Fiorentini 31 Jan 2018

Struggling to Stick to Your New Year’s Resolution? Here’s How to Stay Motivated

January is, of course, the month of New Year’s resolutions. It’s an opportunity to be healthier, take up new hobbies, and improve ourselves. However, according to U.S. News, approximately 80% of resolutions fail by the second week of February, and we become despondent when we realise we are no fitter, richer, or more multilingual than we were a month ago.

Does this mean we need to try harder, or just that we’re setting ourselves the wrong goals? Most people’s New Year’s resolutions focus on abstaining from and limiting certain indulgences. According to last year’s ComRes poll, exercising more (38%), losing weight (33%), and eating more healthily (32%), were the three most popular resolutions in the UK. While these are good and legitimate goals, placing such emphasis on eradicating things from our daily lives doesn’t create a particularly appealing prospect and creates a higher chance of failure.

Instead, we should consider what we can add to our lives—something that is fun and fulfilling and helps improve not only our physical but also our mental well-being. Being involved in the performing arts, whether professionally or as a hobby, has endless benefits. It can develop confidence, public speaking, and networking skills, all of which can improve your work performance, in turn adding to your overall contentment. The emphasis on teamwork and communication also makes it an easy way to meet new people in a relaxed and supportive environment.

It can also be a delightful dip into nostalgia. Whether you took ballet classes for years or just loved your role as Sheep Two in the school nativity, re-visiting a passion for performance can help you to be more creative and proactive, or you can just fall back in love with an old hobby. Or you may even be seeking to kickstart your career as a professional actor. Owing to the increase in flexible and part-time work, it is easier than ever to monopolise your time and pursue a passion for performing alongside your “real” job. The opportunities for personal, mental, and physical development offered by the performing arts make it a great goal to set yourself for the New Year. Fortunately, there are an abundance of ways to get involved in the performing arts, at both beginner and intermediate levels.

Stage and the City, which was set up by Anna Fiorentini in 2014, hosts a variety of performing arts courses aimed at fitting around the busy schedules of working adults. Anna realised that working professionals were suffering from unhealthy levels of stress, as confirmed by a government survey that states that over half a million people suffered from work-related stress, anxiety, and depression in 2016–17. From her 15 years of experience running The Anna Fiorentini Theatre & Film School, which delivers professional theatre training to children from disadvantaged backgrounds, she noticed the benefits the performing arts can have on people’s health and well-being and so decided to extend her school to adults.

The school offers courses ranging from Acting for Beginners to Musical Theatre to City Singers, all of which are taught by industry professionals and focus on developing a variety of skills. Current student Oscar Kugblenu says, “My job requires me to be available 24/7. Since taking the course, I have noticed changes in how much more at ease I am when meeting new people.” So, as we re-frame New Year’s resolutions as a way of incorporating more healthy, self-benefiting indulgences into our lives, consider signing up for acting, dance, or singing classes this year and (re-)discovering your inner performer.

Zoe Sadler

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