Sticking to New Year’s Resolutions

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Health Assured team

05 January 2024

It’s that time of year again. The Christmas tree has been taken down, all the wine has dried up, and the decorations are shoved in an old box ready to collect dust for another year.

With the Christmas and New Year festivities out of the way, many people will be thinking about their resolutions and what they want to achieve in the new year.

According to Forbes Advisor, 1 in 5 British people feel under pressure to set New Year’s resolutions and far fewer people complete them.

Sticking to a New Year’s resolution can be a challenge for most of us, especially after indulging during the Christmas period.

Regardless of your resolution, it is always essential to prioritise your mental health. If you feel as though you are creating unhealthy habits, Health Assured would suggest speaking to a professional counsellor.

It’s crucial to set realistic goals, not put too much pressure on yourself, and to plan. But these aren’t the only things you can do to stick to your New Year’s goals.

5 ways to stick to New Year’s Resolutions

  1. Why your goals are important 

Clarifying the reasons and importance of the resolution will ignite drive and determination.

Having a clear understanding of what you want to achieve and why it’s important, encourages longevity in sticking to the resolution.

Write down the resolution and why it’s important to achieve it. Is it because you want to be healthier? Lose weight? Have better mental health?

The more you understand why you are making the change, the easier it will be to adhere to the resolution.

  1. Plan ahead

Planning is essential when sticking to and achieving resolutions. After all, it was Benjamin Franklin who stated, ‘By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.’

Planning gives you a sense of direction and what to expect from your journey. It gives a better understanding of the journey and the potential barriers.

Try applying SMART: (Specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound)

  1. Is it specific?
  2. Can you measure the goal?
  3. Is it achievable?
  4. How relevant is it?
  5. How long will it take for you to complete the resolution?

A great way of answering some of these questions is to research how long the average person takes to achieve your specific resolution.

Research the possible barriers others have experienced and figure out how to overcome these setbacks, this will prepare you for any that you may face on your resolution journey.

  1. Stack Goals

Habits become second nature after a while.

Compounding your everyday habits with your resolution could improve your ability to stick to them. The idea is to add an already-existing habit, like having a shower, and add your new resolution to the sequence of this habit.

For example, if your resolution is to meditate for better peace of mind, plan your meditation time straight after brushing your teeth in the morning. This creates a routine that your brain will associate meditation after brushing your teeth. After a few times, it will become second nature and you will find it easier to stick to your resolution.

  1. Be realistic

Too often people will step into the new year with a mountain of changes and resolutions in mind.  They endeavour to complete too many new goals at once and end up ditching them.

Focus on no more than three goals, ideally, the focus should be on one to two goals at a time, especially if they are large resolutions like quitting smoking or losing weight. Overloading too many resolutions will encourage burnout and prevent motivation and focus. This is a big reason why a lot of people end up dropping their resolutions.

  1. Support

Getting support from a friend or family is a great way to stay accountable and motivated. Let them know what you are doing and how long it should take to finish. You could ask them to set up regular check-ins to keep you determined and inspired.

If you feel as though you are developing unhealthy habits from your resolution, seek advice and support from a professional counsellor. For example, if you feel as though you are restricting your food intake to unhealthy levels because you want to lose weight, speak to a counsellor. A counsellor will introduce new perspectives and ideas that may help you reach your resolution goals with healthier techniques and behaviours.

Support your organisation with an award-winning EAP

Our Employee Assistance Programme provides guidance and supports your employees with their mental health in the workplace and in life. We can help you create a safe, productive workspace that supports all.

We support employees mental wellbeing with any problems they might be facing in their professional or personal lives with our 24-hour counselling helpline.


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