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When we’re swept up in the cheer of the holiday season, it’s tempting to make overly ambitious resolutions for the new year. ‘I’ll never eat hot chips again!’ That’s just ridiculous. ‘I’ll learn to play one new instrument every month!’ Okay, Mozart. The reality is that most of our new year’s resolutions don’t even make it past the second week of January. Here are five resolutions that are both worthwhile and realistic.

This can help if:

  • it’s the second of January and you’ve already given up on your resolutions – whoops!
  • you want practical tips to help you follow through on your new year’s resolutions
  • you set too many impossible goals for yourself.
Aerial view of lefthanded guy on bed writing in notebook

New year, new resolutions

It’s a new year, which means a fresh batch of new year’s resolutions. You resolved to eat more vegetables and to volunteer some of your spare time, while also going to the gym every day and learning Spanish. This year, before your resolutions fly right out the window, let’s try a different approach. Start small, be realistic, and break down the big, daunting tasks into more manageable ones. To give you an example, we’ve got some tips to help you stick to some of the most common new year’s resolutions.

The big 5

1. To enjoy life more. This one’s obvious; we all like to have fun and enjoy ourselves. But what does it actually mean when we say we want to enjoy life more? As far as vague resolutions go, this one wins first prize. Be more specific. Does it mean taking more trips? Does it mean hanging out with your friends more often? Be very clear about exactly what you want to do, and then you can figure out what you have to do to follow through.

2. To eat better and exercise more. Let’s be realistic for a second: you’re probably not going to go to the gym every day and eat only vegetables. Not only is that setting the bar a bit high, but it’s unnecessary. Set yourself up for success. Start with one trip to the gym, or walking every now and then instead of always taking the bus. As far as your diet goes, you don’t need to go to extremes – just try to maintain a healthy balance.

3. To learn something new. Trying new things and learning new skills is great, but let’s not try to learn everything at once. Choose one thing, and follow through on it. Set aside some time each week to work on your new hobby, and remember that learning something new is a gradual process.

4. To quit smoking. So, you want to quit smoking? That’s great; hats off to you! There are lots of ways to go about it. Put systems in place that will work for you and help you give this habit the flick. It often takes a while to quit successfully, so don’t feel too bad if your first attempts don’t work; just stick at it. Head to the Quit Now website as a first step.

5. To manage money better. It can be hard to keep tabs on your hard-earned cash, especially over the holiday season. One minute it’s there, the next it’s gone. This year, put in place some practical measures to help you keep a closer eye on your money. Apps such as TrackMySpend can help you budget and manage your spending.

Made up your own new year’s resolutions?

Are your resolutions different from these? The logic behind these tips still applies: be specific, don’t set yourself huge tasks that you’ll never be able to follow through with, and try to limit the number of resolutions you set for yourself. Tell a friend about them so they can help you keep on track. Sticking to your new year’s resolutions isn’t easy, but hey – if this year is a giant flop, you can always try again next year!

What can I do now?

  • Make a list of new year’s resolutions that are specific and realistic.
  • Learn more about exercise and eating well.
  • Tell a friend about your resolutions so that you feel accountable.