New Year’s resolutions done differently

How to avoid festive burnout

Broken already?

Hands-up who’s made New Year’s Resolutions? 🙋‍♀️ Keep them up if you’ve already broken them! 🫣

It’s something many of us do, year in, year out – promise to exercise more; lose weight; cut down on drinking; save more money; pursue a career ambition – you know the story! In fact, according to Statista’s December 2022 survey, “53 percent of respondents [were] planning on exercising more or improving their fitness in 2023. The second-most-popular responses, at 43 percent…were losing weight and improving diet.”

It’s not the same for everyone we know, but often these resolutions are broken within the first week or two. Did you know in fact, that the second Friday in January is even known as ‘Quitter’s Day’ – referring to the date when people are most likely to abandon their intentions? And, although popular opinion says that it takes 21-days to form a habit, in reality, depending on what the activity is, it can take up to six months to get into a new routine. (So don’t be hard on yourself if it takes a while longer than you expected to achieve your goals!)

But, perhaps we’re looking at resolutions the wrong way – are we setting ourselves up for a fall year after year? Are we just stuck in the cycle of make-resolution-break-resolution-try-again-next-year?

What can we do to change this?



To give yourself a greater chance of sticking to your resolutions, make sure your goals are well-defined. By making resolutions SMART: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound – you’ll be able to monitor your progress better. Rather than your resolution being to ‘get fitter’ you could state what exercise you will do, when, where and for how long.

Writing your goals down could significantly increase your chances of realising them, as it makes you more accountable to yourself. And taking the time to write them out beautifully in a journal, (choose your favourite Zebra pens for this task) or framing them and hanging on a wall gives you a bigger incentive to prioritise them.

Maybe however, we’re choosing the wrong resolutions, or we’re going about them in the wrong way and that is why we’re not always fulfilling them. Perhaps instead of just thinking about what our goals are, we should instead think also about why we want to achieve them.


What’s the purpose?

Losing weight because you’re getting married next year/going on an extended holiday/training to run a marathon (delete as applicable), are all great reasons, but what if we think about it a little differently? What about thinking further ahead to life ambitions, or perhaps better described as life purpose, and then consider what actions we need to take in order to fulfil those aspirations or that purpose?

What if you’ve had a lifelong desire to join the military; become a firefighter, pilot; or professional sportsperson, what do you need to do in order to set the wheels in motion to make these things happen?

If you want to live and work in another country, what steps do you take to realise that dream? Maybe start by researching potential areas of the country to live in; job opportunities; are any specific employment skills required; do you need to learn a new language?

If you want to become a wildlife photographer or run your own business, what qualifications and experience do you need, to make this happen? If your goals are charitable/philanthropic, how do you get involved in supporting the causes that are close to your heart?


Going backwards

Think of it like a bucket list, but a bucket list of lifestyle ambitions rather than a to-do list of places you want to visit and things you want to experience. Think about your overall life aspirations and then work backwards and make your resolutions the things you need to achieve in order to make the bigger things happen.

If you want to add giving up alcohol, or cutting down on meat, to your New Year’s resolution list, do it, but this year why not work on the things that will help you to achieve those longer-term ambitions?

P.S. If you haven’t made any New Year’s resolutions yet, don’t think it’s too late, you can begin achieving your life purpose on any day of the year.