How to Make your New Year’s Resolutions Stick

Handy tips and inspiration for setting achievable goals and choosing life-changing habits.  

The beginning of a new year is an ideal time for reflection and then resolutions.  After all the Christmas festivities, a bit of space often opens up in our schedule to think about where you are at and where you would like to be in the future. 

Setting goals is a way to stay motivated, and new year’s resolutions are like a boost of determination to keep you on track. For many, it’s a great time to prioritize health and wellness. To support your journey to better health, find a list of ideas below. 

Whatever your goals are this year, it’s most important to choose goals that are attainable and help you feel more optimistic about yourself and your future. 

Handy Tips for Successful Resolutions

  1. Choose a very specific, achievable goal.  Narrow your goal down to something you can complete and tick off. For example, instead of “This year I will eat healthier”, define how you will do this, such as, “I will start the day with a smoothie”. Even better is to specify frequency with “Three mornings a week I will have a green smoothie for breakfast”. This makes your goal attainable and measurable. 

2. Focus on one goal at a time. If you have a long list of ways you want to eat healthier, start with one and do it well. Once this goal becomes a new habit and is part of your routine, then move onto the next goal. 

3. Make a plan. Some of you will love this part; others will be rolling their eyes. However, this will really help! Create a clear picture of what your goal looks like, what you want to achieve and the steps it will take to get there. Write or type your plan.  Back to the smoothie example, choose which mornings a smoothie will fit into your schedule, pick three recipes that interest you, write a shopping list and choose a start date. 

4. Alongside your written plan, write a list of the benefits you will gain from your resolution. This will help with motivation to get started, and later you can turn to this list when challenging situations arise.  

5. Accept and adapt. If you have a setback, don’t give up! Use it as an opportunity to learn why it happened and how you can do things differently. Maybe your goal worked in the holidays but needs to be adapted now you’re back at work.  

6. Slow and steady. Remember making lasting changes takes time. Set realistic timeframes and take your time.

7. Most importantly, be kind to yourself. Celebrate the little wins and praise yourself for your progress. You are doing your best and perfection is not only stressful but unrealistic. 

Inspiration to Prioritize Health & Wellness

If you’re looking to boost your overall wellbeing, here is a list of ideas to spark your interest. Simply pick one that resonates with you. 

  • Reset your sleep schedule to get 7-8 hours a night. Set and prioritize a bedtime. 
  • Practice Gratitude. Write a list of 3 specific things you’re grateful for each day. This trains your brain to focus on the positive. 
  • Eat more vegetables. Create specific goals such as: add veggies to smoothies, plan meat free meals each week, swap chips for carrots, or have salads for lunch twice a week. Find a variety of delicious vegetarian recipes here.
  • Create a stretching routine. 5 minutes a day can help improve flexibility, energy levels, and everyday mobility as you age. 
  • Reduce your screen time. Set specific times you want to do this: dinnertime, 1 hour before bed, or after school pick up. 
  • Read. Turn off the tv, put down the device and read more. Reading exercises the brain, improves sleep, and teaches empathy.
  • Create a savings plan. Review your finances, meet with a financial advisor, or contact your kiwisaver provider.
  • Eat healthier. Choose specific goals such as increase fibre intake, eat greens every day, include more wholefoods (less processed foods), cook at home, or try one new healthy recipe a week.  
  • Add more organic food to your diet (get tips here). Start with one item a week: organic oats, organic canned goods, or organic ketchup are a good place to start. 
  • Volunteer. It enriches your life and can improve health and happiness, lower stress, and boost self-confidence.  
  • Practice Yoga. There are endless benefits to your body and your mind. Boost your immunity, strengthen your bones, get better sleep, energy, focus, and more.
  • Walk daily. 10-15 minutes before or after work or at lunchtime.  
  • Practice self-care. Buy yourself flowers. Schedule ‘down time’ or ‘me time’. Let go of ‘shoulds’ and practice saying no.
  • Commit to a more sustainable lifestyle. Review and improve your recycling habits, ditch single use plastic, store reusable containers in your car (remember to take them into the shop or restaurant!), shop at a refillery, or choose climate-friendly meals. 
  • Update your CV. Whether you love your job or not, it’s a good idea to review it once a year. 

While it’s important to challenge yourself, keeping your goals simple and attainable is the best way to support long lasting resolutions.  What will you do to make 2024 a great year for you?