How to make better New Year’s resolutions – and actually stick to them

There’s more to New Year’s Eve than a list of ambitious requirements for the year to come – we’re fans of being a little kinder to yourself in the first few days of January – but if you’re determined to enter 2016 with a set of traditional New Year’s Resolutions to tackle, here are a few tips to make sure you haven’t called it a day by the middle of January…

Start small

Little habits are easier to pick up than huge ones. Start with doing a couple of sit-ups when you get up every morning and increase from there, rather than trying to run 5 miles before breakfast on January 2nd.

Give yourself time

Patience, patience. It takes around 21 days for something to become a habit, so stick with it until the end of January at least. In theory, it should be second nature by February 1st… (Here’s hoping!)

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Be specific

If you’re vague about what you want to achieve, you are much more likely to miss the target. Change ‘be more cultured’ to ‘go to five plays and two gigs before the years is out, ‘get fit’ to ‘go to the gym twice a week’…

Be organised

If you really want to go to the gym twice a week, you’re going to have to plan and factor it into your life, not just keep your fingers crossed that somehow it magically happens. Block out Monday and Thursday evenings, be strict with yourself and tell your friends so they don’t invite you out on those nights.

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Congratulate yourself

It’s highly embarrassing and terribly un-British, but reward yourself when you stick to a resolution. Vocally, if possible. Research shows it helps reinforce a new behaviour.

Only make a couple

It’s better to stick to one resolution than make 14 and give-up two days in…

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