New Year’s Resolutions – make them stick!

2/2/2015 |

As January comes to an end, it’s easy to forget those New Year’s Resolutions. Made just a few weeks ago at the start of the year, when it felt like a new beginning, some of us may well be thinking, perhaps next year? Or may be in the summer…? No! Stop! It’s not too late to make 2015 the year that you do stick with your New Year’s Resolution.

The main thing is to only try one thing at a time – too many changes will mean that you stick at nothing!

How to not let your resolution fade by February…

  • Having a New Year’s Resolution doesn’t have to be sensible, or even difficult. Perhaps pick something that is about having more fun. For instance, in 2012, I decided to make a new dessert each month. I kept my New Year’s Resolution and really enjoyed it!
  • Break it down into goals! Getting fit, for example, could be about starting out with a swim once a week throughout the month, then, adding in an extra exercise class the next month. Try different forms of exercise until you find something that you enjoy; build it up gradually and make it part of your routine. If you expect to go from doing no exercise to running 6 miles 3 times a week, it’s unlikely that you will stay motivated; your motivation needs to be built up!
  • Decide if the resolution is something that you really want to do. Is it worthy of your time and effort? If it is, think about how you will fit this new thing into your life and or budget etc. Make a positive commitment to it. Decide that 2015 will be the year that you succeed.
  • Tell everyone what your resolution is. If it means a lot to you, tell others that this is what you’re doing. This will encourage you not to appear flakey in front of your friends, colleagues and family.
  • Write your resolution down. Frame it. Put it where you and others can see it. This will give you a reminder every day.
  • Celebrate successes – however small…
  • Set mile stones – realistic ones – and if you find you aren’t on track, stick with it. Identify why you have lost your way in order to get back on track.

How to get a better work life balance – it’s a common New Year’s Resolution!

  • Accept that as far as work goes, there will always be more than you can do, but that doesn’t mean that you have to do it.
  • Make a conscious decision to enjoy your time away from work by focusing on the here and now. Meditation can help. But fundamentally you need to decide to let it go and enjoy your time off, and you’ll need to switch off in order to be able to do this (see below!)

How to switch off…

It sounds simple doesn’t it?

In reality, it clearly isn’t, which is why so many of us struggle.

The good news is that there is an answer. It’s about using a second brain. Yes, you heard me right, a second brain. The difficulty with switching off is that even though you may decide to use your second brain, ‘stuff’ keeps popping into your head at the wrong time. It’s why you remember the paperwork that needed signing as you get into bed, the fact that you should have posted your best friend’s birthday card 10 minutes after the last post. Your brain simply isn’t designed to carry this stuff around. To switch off, you need to silence all these lists of things that you haven’t done yet. In his book, How to be a Productivity Ninja, Graham Allcott explains that you need a trusted system for recording all of this stuff. A list is just too long and not sophisticated enough. You need to get the stuff you need to do out of your head and into a trusted system that you can refer to regularly. Put things in as soon as they come into your head, leaving you free to switch off and concentrate on the present. For more blog posts, check out


Content credit: Hayley Watts

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