Why do so many people fail? I’m guessing that it is because people haven’t set themselves a goal that is reasonable, attainable and measurable. Take the old favourite – ‘losing weight’: it’s a great and admirable aim to have for the new year, promoting better health and possibly increased fitness, but it is also quite vague. If you do your research, however, and join a weight-loss club or speak to your G.P to work out your own personal ‘healthy’ weight, you will be given a specific target to reach, like 2lb a month, or a dropping a dress size in 8 weeks. Having a specific target in mind that is realistic (and safe) can really help to get you focused.
Another popular New Year’s Resolution is to ‘spend less’, which is also pretty vague! Once again, a little bit of planning can help to make this a resolution that you are much more likely to stick to! All you need to do is figure out how much money you have got coming in, how much money you have got going out on daily essentials (bills and day-to-day living expenses, etc.), and work out how much is left over. Unless you are a serious saver, willing to give up every luxury that you work hard to afford (the odd cup of takeaway coffee, a nice haircut, eating out, the occasional new outfit, etc.), it is probably best not to try and save every single penny of your excess income! Even though there are lots of fun free things that you can do, if you don't have the occasional treat to look forward to, the year can look very long indeed from a grey and dismal January day! Instead, why not start by saving a relatively small amount? By cutting out a takeaway coffee every day you could save around £20 per week. Pop that into a savings account instead and there will be a pain-free grand sat in your bank account by Christmas!
Even a resolution like ‘Enjoy Life More’ can fall by the wayside in January, not because it is a hardship, but because it refers to an abstract idea that cannot be directly measured. Once again, a little bit of January planning can make this an amazing resolution – it just needs a bit of a brainstorm first: What would make you enjoy life more in 2016? More time with your family? Making more time for you and the things that you enjoy? Narrow it down to a couple of potential sources of increased enjoyment and set aside a few hours a week specifically for this purpose; schedule it in to your new shiny 2016 diary if you have to! I know it sounds a little like enforced fun, but to busy individuals with businesses, homes and family life to run, it is one way of making your New Year’s Resolution a more solid and attainable goal.
Whether your New Year’s Resolution is successful or not, congratulations on taking the first steps to a happier and healthier 2016. According to StatisticBrain, people who explicitly make a resolution are 10 times more likely to make a successful and positive change in their lives in the New Year than those who don’t, so chin up!
Keep trying - and I hope that you see the rewards of your efforts this year!