5 most common New Year’s resolutions and how to actually achieve them

When we asked around the office which New Year’s resolutions people had, most of them fell into the same categories. Some wanted to relax more, some wanted to hike more, and some were determined to join the gym and get rid of the December-treats build-up (sure it’s only from December? (wink) ) that’s why we decided to write about the 5 most common New Year’s resolutions, and how to actually achieve them – just to avoid having colleagues starting the new year disappointed!

1. Start going to the gym

It’s almost safe to say that we have all had this particular New Year’s resolution on our list at some point. Maybe you had too many cookies and chocolates during December, or maybe it’s been an ongoing ritual for longer than you want to admit! However, come February everything is usually back to square one. Even though you actually managed to squeeze yourself into those stretchy tights, ducked out some dusty trainers from the loft and made it down the gym 8 times thinking ‘I’ve got this’. But then what happened?

Your ambitions are too far from your normal routine

According to Benjamin Gardner, an expert in behaviour change at King’s College London, you could be too unrealistic with your goals:
If you’re not doing any exercise and set yourself the goal of going to the gym five times a week for half an hour, you’re probably not going to achieve it“, he says in an article from The Guardian.

How to sort it out

Set yourself some realistic goals. If you didn’t use to go to the gym at all before your New Year’s resolution, maybe you could start going once or twice a week. You could also set yourself some measurement goals to give you more motivation. If you are looking to lose weight, measuring how many inches you lose every other week could be a motivator. If you are looking to increase your cardio endurance, an app analysing your performance could also give you that extra boost. See the 49 best health and fitness apps.

2. Quit smoking

This might not only be a New Year’s resolution some of you have failed time and time again, it might even have failed several times during the whole year. ‘Quit smoking’ is possibly the hardest New Year’s resolution to fulfill – which is interesting as it’s about not doing something compared to start doing something.  So why is it so difficult?!

You are addicted

As explained on the NHS website you are addicted to the nicotine, and an addiction leads to craving if you don’t nurture it. Some people might even get abstinences!

How to sort it out

There are many ways people have beat the addiction. Some might use plasters, gum or the most popular solution at the moment seems to be the stem-e-cigs. It’s supposedly a lot better for your health, you can ‘smoke’ it inside and it’s cheaper than normal cigarettes. However, another alternative, which is the cheapest one of all, is reading the ‘Easy Way To Stop Smoking’ by the American Allen Carr. He asks you throughout the book to continue smoking while you read it, so actually there wouldn’t be any reason for you not to give it a try. Get the free pdf. He also wrote one specific for woman, as many woman are also concerned with the issue of gaining weight when trying to quit. Buy it here.

3. Spend more time with the kids

With more and more mums and dads both working, there is less time to do chores, and at the same time spend quality time with the kids. You feel guilty that your kids are in care or school all day, and when you are home together dinner has to be cooked, washing has to be done, and lunches have to be prepared. When are you ever going to find time for fun and relaxation?

You get caught up in the daily routines of ‘have-to-do’s

Of course it’s important that all the chores are done, and this works best with a daily routine. But what about thinking the same way about quality time with the kids? Add it to your schedule and maybe leave the dishes for one night instead.

How to sort it out

One suggestion could be a ‘time-bank’ as just mentioned, where you organise your time. The weekends can be stressful as well, even though you much rather just spend it with your family. If you are a couple living together, one of you could do all the chores on the Saturday or Sunday while your partner watches the kids. Later you can relax, unwind and just enjoy each other’s company. More of that please!

See also 5 ways to spend time with your kids when you have no time for more tips.

4. Relax more

We have all been feeling stressed at one point in our lives, and it seems more people are expressing feeling stressed more often than not. Different theories why points at everything from a packed daily schedule to high expectations of ourselves. People seem to value achievements more than ever before, or maybe they just need a clock with 30 hours instead of 24… At the end of the day we are all different, have different reasons for getting stressed and have different ways of dealing with it. But one reason you and everyone else probably can agree is causing stress is:

You are not prioritising you-time

As the Tibetan Lama Thubten Yeshe once said “Be gentle first with yourself if you wish to be gentle with others“. Try to remember that when you feel like prioritising everyone else than yourself first.

How to sort it out

Just like the concept with a time-bank, you could try scheduling you-time. An article from greatist.com suggests 40 things you can do to relax more where one of them is being alone. Doing yoga, drinking herb tea instead of coffee is also some of the suggestions. Another important fact that recently has been discussed in the media, is our lack of sleep. Adults actually need between 7-9 hours or sleep every night according to this infographic by the National Sleep Foundation. If you want to read more about sleep, the Newyorker.com wrote an interesting article explaining what happens when we fall a sleep and why it’s so important to us.

So if you want to relax more, all you gotta do is be good to yourself! Doesn’t sound bad at all!


5. Do more of an interest or learn a new one

As we mentioned, one from our office wants to hike more, and another wants to learn how to play golf. So this one is for you guys!

As any New Year’s resolution it’s really about changing a habit

Why is it so difficult to do what you set your mind to, even if it’s something you actually enjoy?

How to sort it out

According to The Guardian: “Gardiner has discovered that the first few times you do something are the most strongly habit-forming; although separate research suggests it takes 66 days on average to form a new habit“.

So maybe it’s about doing something that you enjoy and making sure you prioritise it until it becomes a habit. You can read more about why it’s good to have good habits here.

And for the guys at the office here are 10 best British hikes and a website with discount on golf clubs (wink)


So there you have it! Now all you need to do is actually do it (easier said than done, we know!) We are going to finish with one last (and maybe most important) quote:

Sometimes there’s a very good reason why we’re not slimmer/fitter/richer/nicer than we already are. And that’s because, if we’re completely honest with ourselves, we don’t really need to be“, The Guardian.

Happy New Years, and good luck everyone!

Which New Year’s resolution(s) do you have? Have you had any success with previous one’s, and how did you make it happen?

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