How I Set New Years Resolutions that I Actually Achieve

New Years Resolutions, How to Set Goals, How to Start the New Year

New Years Resolutions

With the New Year fast approaching, lots of people will be thinking about their new year’s resolutions or perhaps they’re just thinking about what to wear out to celebrate on NYE and welcome in 2018?? Whether you want to lose weight, save money, stop smoking or eat more healthily, statistically about 80% of adults will fail to keep their New Years resolutions. 

This year, whilst writing this gratitude post, I realised that quite by accident I’ve applied a process to setting my New Years resolutions that I find works really well for me and I’ll explain why in a sec.

Why New Years Resolutions Fail

When I hear the phrase “New Years resolution”, it sounds a bit gimmicky, like a fictional, weird phrase we just bandy about at this time of year.

When I think of New Years resolutions, I think of things that we may attempt to do in January but have taken zero steps to start at any other time of the year. Usually, we will attempt to make changes that are so drastic that we’re bound to fail, especially as we’re trying to make these changes just because the clock struck midnight on a particular day of the year.

What happened to making these changes when we’re ready?

Once we’ve completed some smaller steps that together will lead us to the bigger drastic change over time? 

Often, we’re not emotionally or psychologically ready to make such changes in our lives and if we’re not ready we’re not going to be successful and there’s nothing like an unattained new year’s resolution to make us reluctant to set another one.


What I Do at the End of Each Year

So with that being said, I had a think about what I do towards the end of the year that works really well for me and they’re really simple things:

Declutter and clear out my wardrobe:

Spark Joy by Marie Kondo

This is a necessary way to begin the year. I recently read Marie Kondo’s, Spark Joy – An Illustrated Guide to the Japanese Art of Tidying, after seeing a friend with the book I wondered what kind of book was describing tidying as an ‘art form’?! Needless to say that I subsequently discovered it wasn’t a humorous novel and it’s honestly is a great read, Kondo’s work is an art form and it really motivated me to de-clutter. I’m not a huge fan of the sterile, “show home” look but I do advocate regular decluttering (zero clue as to how we managed to keep so much stuff in our previous home) and decluttering and clearing out is a great way to start the year – it genuinely makes your home environment feel lighter.

It also makes way for all the great things I’ve no doubt bought in the January sales…

Celebrate the Year that has Passed

It’s also really important for me to look back over the year and to make a note of all the amazing things that have happened. To be grateful for all of the things I’ve experienced, the challenges I’ve faced and to note the lessons I’ve learned. I take this time to appreciate the person I’ve become in the last year.


Kick Off The Year in Style

My Birthday is in January, so it’s a perfect time to plan a little celebration and to kick off the year. Having a birthday in January isn’t the most welcomed by friends and family after the festive period, so it’s a perfect time for me to make a fuss of myself! I never work on my birthday (which means I’ve never taken cakes into the office) and I like being away from home for at least the whole day. Last year I spent some time at Soho Farmhouse which is gorgeous place to spend the day with yourself and to really relax in the heated outdoor swimming pool (yes in January) and their spa.

You can still totally celebrate the new year without subscribing to NYE countdowns, hangovers or taking time off work. I have found that just the time to reflect and the self-acknowledgment is enough and gives me the confidence that I’ve taken stock of the lessons from the previous year and given myself a pat on the back for my accomplishments. 

Reflecting and taking time for yourself can be such a luxury in our busy lifestyles. However you choose to reflect is up to you, but if you only do one thing before the end of the year, it’s this one because you can’t fail to have a better year when you take time to analyse the last one.

How I Set New Year's Resolutions The I Actually Keep!

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Decide What You’re Ready and Willing to do in the Coming Year

Only when armed with the reflections of the year that has passed, do I spend some time deciding what I what I want to do and what I’m ready to do. I think about the next logical thing I want to do instead of creating some sort of ‘major’ thing – I’m not trying to impress anybody. 

I use this opportunity to think about the new skills I want to cultivate, the old habits I want to get rid of, new habits I want to form and what I need to do to get organised for the coming year in order to feel more prepared.


Don’t Call them ‘New Years Resolutions’

This is the real differentiating factor for me. Whatever you do, don’t call them ‘New Years resolutions’, the phrase has such negative connotations associated with it. By replacing it with something more positive by calling them ‘goals’ or ‘decisions’ and making sure you’ve taken time to reflect, you’ll feel a lot more confident about the decisions you’ve made for the year ahead.

New Years Resolutions, How to Set Goals, How to Start the New Year

A few more tips that work for me

  • Share you goal:

Lots of people share their New Years resolutions from an accountability perspective so that they’re committed to achieving the goal, Mark Zuckerberg does this so you’re in good company if you choose to. You can share with your friends or on social media, Twitter would be great for this.

You can follow me on Twitter here.

  • Write it down:

I’m a huge fan of physically writing down goals that I want to achieve in on of my snazzy notebooks. For me, the process of writing things down almost ‘activates’ something in me. Try it.

  • Visualise:

Visualise yourself doing the thing you’re trying to achieve in your mind. This one goes hand in hand with making sure you’re ready to do something. If it feels forced or you can’t see yourself achieving it, chances are it won’t happen.


Either way, however you choose to set goals for the year ahead don’t be too harsh on yourself, make sure you have fun and forget the naysayers. Use a new year to set goals to impress nobody but yourself.


If you have any tips for starting off the year well and what works for you, I’d love to hear them, you can leave them below or send them to me via social media.


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