MoneyMagpie

Dec 15

The New Years resolution mistake you don’t know you’re making

If you make a New Years resolution the chances are by February you’ve completely forgotten about them. Only 8% of people actually manage to keep their resolutions for any decent length of time. So why beat yourself up?

You can be smarter about it.

 

Why you can’t keep your New Years resolution

The reason a NewStressed Woman Looking at Laptop Screen Year’s resolution doesnt work is that it’s often about stopping negative behaviour instantly rather than setting up positive activities.

If you think more about the positive changes you’d like to make to your life, you’ll have more success in achieving your goals.

We also often make loads of resolutions at once…too much for any human to do successfully.

 

How to set a new years resolution you can achieve

  • Take some quiet time and gather friends, family, or whoever else will give you positive input, together with a big piece of paper, pen or crayons. 
  • Picture of a notebook where a woman has written "New years Resolution" Write down or draw all the ideas you can think of about what you’d like to do next in life. It’s a good idea to tack this masterpiece to the wall or fridge, so you can add ideas over the next few weeks. 
  • Prioritise. Pick two ideas to take further. These could relate to short-term goals such as losing weight or bigger, long term goals like becoming your own boss.
  • Write each new years resolution down, and commit to seeing each through. Put them up on your fridge so you – and your spouse and children – can be reminded of what you’re working for. Ask for their support – rather than their nagging – at each step of the process. 
  • Work out how you are going to achieve each goal. Take one piece of paper for each goal and write a list of steps you are going to take to achieve it. Ideally, you should have between one and three goals with three steps for each so you don’t get overwhelmed with things to do. 

 

How to achieve your goals

  • Keep your goals within reach. The fridge is the best place to stick your goals – or new years resolutions – so you’re reminded of them – and the improvement they’ll make in your life every day when getting out your milk. 
  • Revisit and review progress. Plan regularly to review your goals (maybe every month for short term ones or every six months for long term ones) – on a specific date written in a diary or calendar. 
  • Seek support if necessary. There’s no shame in asking for help from family and friends if you’re struggling. It’s ok to stumble, but don’t dwell on it – remind yourself what you’re aiming for and march on!
  • When you achieve a goal, celebrate! Building yourself a richer life is about knowing what you want and taking one step at a time to get there. When the celebrating is over, you can set yourself a new goal.

Notepad surrounded by party paraphernalia with Goals written on and bullet points 1 - 5Also…

1. Don’t be too hard on yourself. It’s human nature to feel lazy, unsure or insecure at times. What you need to learn is how to pick yourself up from those blues and carry on.

2. Don’t be consumed by your new years resolutions. While it’s great to know the direction you’re heading and think about it regularly, you shouldn’t be suffering palpitations every time you think about making a step forward. If that’s the case, revise your goals and make them more realistic and attainable.

3. Have fun!

 

Top tips on achieving common resolutions

There are common resolutions that we all want to achieve whether it be losing weight, giving up a bad habit or getting our finances in order.

Here are our top tips to help you achieve these resolutions – remember it’s all about setting realistic goals.

 

Lose weight

Instead of simply telling yourself to lose weight, set a target you’d like to achieve. For example, if there’s a wedding coming up in a few months time then set yourself a dress size you’d like to achieve. Not only that, plan out the steps you’re going to need to take to achieve this goal. You could decide you’re going to walk for thirty minutes three times a week and cut out takeaways or you’re going to subscribe to a gym and go four times a week. Whatever it is, make sure it’s challenging but achievable.Young slim woman checking the size of her waist with a tape measure

  • There are some great health and fitness bargains out there if you’re looking for some inspiration. Groupon has a whole load of fitness offers no-matter where you live, from discounted gym members to money off Pilates classes. Or if it’s a healthy diet you’re looking for, they have a wide range of diet offers.
  • Red Letter Days have some fun ways for you to lose weight as well. For example if you’re feeling really intense then why not try out a military survival boot camp… it’s probably not everyone’s cup of tea.
  • If you want to work out but find gym memberships too expensive, payasUgym.com could be the new love of your fitness life – and not just because it knocks up to 60% off normal gym prices. Like a pay-as-you-go phone, you only pay for what you use. So there are NO expensive monthly fees to get locked into, and NO joining or induction charges. Plus, you’re not limited to only one gym – payasUgym.com lets you use hundreds of fitness centres across the UK (so you can use one close to work during the week and one near home at weekends).

For more information read our 12 ways to cut the cost of your gym membership. 

Drink less alcohol

We’re not saying you should never drink alcohol again (although it can’t hurt – not drinking can save you £1,000’s a year!) but you can try and cut back which should save you money and improve your health.Man slumped on desk with empty alcohol bottle

Why not set give yourself an incentive by going out with friends on a Sunday using the money you have saved from not going out the night before, or putting the money towards classes in something you’ve always wanted to learn whether it be salsa, a musical instrument or another language.

 

Quit smokingStubbed out cigarette

Giving up smoking might not be easy but the benefits to your health and your wallet are undeniable (we’ve estimated you can save at least £3,000 a year by stopping smoking.)

Why not find a good savings account here, put the money you save each week from smoking into it and save up for a big trip away in one or two years time. Imagine what an incentive that would be!

If you’re struggling then check out the NHS’s Smoke free site and the No Smoking Day website. Boots sell a lot of cheap ‘stop smoking’ aids so it’s well worth finding out which one might work for you. 

 

Get your finances in order

Again, it’s easy to talk about ‘spending less’ and ‘saving more’ but without a goal and a plan of actions it’s difficult to stick to it (in fact two thirds of people who save with a goal in mind actually reach their target!)

If you’re trying to pay off debt then begin by cutting up your credit cards and store cards and moving to a 0% credit card. Find out which are the best 0% credit cards here (some are 0% for nearly four years now!)

Once you have one of these cards set up an automatic payment to be debt-free by the time the 0% period runs out.

If you’re looking to save money then come up and stick to a family budget so you can set a target in mind. Use our utilities comparison serve to see if you can find a better deal (98.8% of customers can save money switching their energy bills) and if you need some saving ideas then read our 26 painless ways to save money.

 

If you’re struggling for resolution ideas…

Photo of a father with arms round a mother holding a babyIf you’re happy with your weight, don’t smoke, don’t drink and have your finances in order… well done you! You’re doing better than the rest of us.

For this year, how about:

  • Laugh more
  • Be a better listener
  • Complete random acts of kindness
  • Spend more time with friends and family without arguing/nagging/picking/judging/grumbling

Resolutions can be happy things too!

 

Let us know your top tips for sticking to your resolutions in the comments section below.

 

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