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Happy New Year

Happy New Year! I have to confess, I'm not a big fan of New Year's Resolutions. You can make change any time of the year, but I think sometimes we feel compelled to make resolutions because everyone else is. However this year I have one for myself. I'm a bit of a sod for letting my petrol light come on. I normally just fill my tank full then fill it up when I need to. I made a resolution years ago to fill my tank up when I was on a quarter of a tank and I stuck to it for about 3 years. I then started to work in cumbria, which takes the best part of a tank and I slipped back into my old ways.

My aim for this year is to not let my petrol light come on. There are lots of reasons to do this. The M6 is a bit of a nightmare at the moment with all the roadworks and getting stuck in traffic is a real possibility. I also drive a lot at night and the thought of running out of petrol at night does not fill me with joy.

Some tips for sticking to New Year's Resolutions( or changes at any time of year )

1) Think about why you want to make the change. What are the benefits of the change or the negatives of not changing. So for me I will have less stress when I'm driving and will not risk running out of petrol.

2) Be realistic about the change. Filling up on a quarter of a tank is realistic for most of the time, however when I travel to Cumbria it takes most of a tank and it does not make sense to fill up on the motorway services. So I am going to aim to fill up on my way home, there is a Tesco near to where I come off the motorway so I will fill up then.

3) Plan how you will make a change. My aim is to fill up on a quarter of a tank. I need to get into the habit of filling up on the way home, rather than thinking that I will do it in the morning then end up rushing and chancing it. It is far less hassle to fill up on the way home. It's only a 5 minute job after all.

4) Think about how you will recover if you slip up. This is what happened to me last time, it was getting to less than a quarter of a tank on my way back from Cumbria that got me out of the habit of filling up. You may have heard of the Stages of Change Model by Prochaska & DiClemente which has identified the stages someone goes through when they are making changes. It's often used to explain addictions, one of the steps is 'relapse'. Relapse into old ways is a normal part of the process when making change. With this in mind I need to just draw a line under it and start again if my petrol light does come on.

I decided that I would do this a couple of weeks ago, when yet again my petrol light was on. I've had a really lovely chilled out Christmas and a full tank of petrol has lasted me over 2 weeks, which is bliss for someone who fills up about every 4 - 6 days. I made a quick in the car .

That's my New Year's Resolution, it's not that exciting or sexy, but hopefully it will make a difference. Expect to see snaps of my petrol gauge.

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