Top five New Year resolutions and tips to help you keep them

Published 2009-12-28 10:26:42

It’s that time of the year again. Events of the past 12 months are assessed and plans for the next 12 are made. Read on to find out some of the top New Year resolutions people make every year and top up on some tips to help you keep at them.

1. “I will spend more time with family”

This tops the list of New Years resolutions. In a recent survey, over 50% of Americans took the pledge to spend more time with family this year. Call friends home instead of meeting up at the pub, leave work earlier at least once a week and then try doing it more often.

2. “I will fit into my high school jeans again”
New Year is a great time to start the battle against the bulge. In fact, surveys show a massive rise in gym memberships in the first three months of the year. This unfortunately tails off some time in the beginning of the second quarter.

3. “ I will quit smoking/ stop drinking”
New Year resolutions are a popular way to aim for sobriety. Many also drink their way into the New Year with the promise that this is the last they’ll have for the rest of the year. But as the saying goes, how you start the New Year probably determines how the rest of the year turns out. So if you’re planning to bid adieu to the cigarettes and the booze, plan a more sober New Year’s eve party.

4. “I will do more fun stuff  this year”
Plans for the New Year inevitably involve doing better than the year gone by. And one of the most oft cited gripe is that people have been so busy coping with the monotonous routine of everyday life, they forget to enjoy and celebrate it. So plan a holiday, pick a hobby, do something you’d feel good about and make sure you enjoy.

5. “ I will get my finances in order”
Money woes especially in recent turbulent times have made this another top New Years resolution. At the start of the year, people vow to cut their credit card bills, save more, make better investments and reduce their debt. But just hoping that it will sort itself out isn’t enough; make sure you have a plan to see you reach your financial goals by the end of the year.

Some tips to help you keep your resolutions alive well into the year and beyond.

1. Keep it real
It’s one thing to be excited about a goal, it’s another to achieve it. Make sure you set reasonable goals and have a plan to make it work through the year.

2. Tell the world
It’s harder to smoke that cigarette when you’ve told all your friends, family and colleagues that your New Year Resolution is to quit smoking. Better still, team up with someone who also wants to quit and help each other kick the habit.

3. Don’t overload yourself
Pick one or two goals and stick with it. Resolving to change 20 different aspects of your life in one year is only going to give you more things to worry about and fix at the end of the next year.

4. Be specific
Details matter; make a plan. If your resolution is to reduce smoking, decide on what’s realistic and how much you want to reduce it by. Also break down larger goals into smaller ones so they’re easier to achieve. E.g. from 15 cigarettes a day to 12 in the first month, 10 in the second month etc. This will help you set clearer and more achievable targets.

5. Find alternatives
Dig deeper into why you’re doing something you don’t want to do. If you’re smoking because you’re stressed all the time, take up a hobby. If you’re constantly coming home late because you’re not organized, get more organized. Start by reducing clutter and work your way through to a more efficient system.

6. Reward yourself
Every time you reach a goal or a mini goal, treat yourself. You’ve done a good job, you need to enjoy it so you can keep at it and hit the next milestone.

Good luck with your New Year resolutions and make sure you make them work.

Sidd Lobo
Freelance writer

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