How to Make New Years Resolutions Last

As the glitter and sparkle of Christmas subside, the final days of December are often a time when we resolve to make changes in the year ahead. But New Year’s resolutions are notorious for swiftly falling by the wayside – so how to make your goals and plans stick? We have a few ideas for making sure the effects of this year’s resolutions are ones you’ll be proud of come this time next year. 


The problem with many new year’s resolutions is that they’re often simply too big and ambitious to be achieved quickly. Wanting to run a marathon for the first time, or to learn a new language, are both great aims, but these things take months (if not years) of dedication. Choosing something smaller and more achievable, like joining a local running club for three months, or committing to one French class a week, means you’re less likely to give up at the first hurdle – and far more likely to succeed in the long term.


Speaking of hurdles…this issue is one which commonly befalls those making resolutions to get healthier. After a few weeks in January of super-strict eating and exercise, you exhaust yourself and end up binging on treats and skipping exercise. Regret kicks in, and before you know it, you’ve decided your goal is a lost cause. It’s not! A missed gym class doesn’t mean you’re never going to achieve your goal of getting fit – it just means you missed a gym class. If you’re prepared for the fact that you will occasionally fall off the wagon, it makes it far easier to get back on it.


This is all about accountability. Having a friend, colleague or family member with the same or a similar goal means you can help each other stay on track when you’re tempted to give up your resolutions. Whether it’s checking in on progress with a text each week, hiring a personal trainer and splitting the cost together, or taking an evening class together, you’re far more likely to succeed with support.


Resolutions are far more likely to last if they’re something you actually want, rather than something you think you ‘should’ do, or something that somebody else wants you to achieve. Make sure your resolution is in line with your own needs – just because everyone else is giving up chocolate, doesn’t mean you have to as well. It’s better to go against the grain and pick a resolution which is in line with your own personality and desires.


Resolutions should be about improving your life, not punishing yourself. If you’re trying to achieve something new, it can take time for the effects to be noticeable. Keep yourself on track by building in frequent rewards for your perseverance, rather than for achieving your goal. Completed a week of daily meditation? Treat yourself to something small – a lie-in, a massage, a new book, a good meal – to say well done.

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