It’s almost that time of the year again!  Yes, it’s nearly New Year, and so the idea of making a resolution or two has probably crossed your mind.  In 59 Seconds, I describe some of the research that I have carried out into how best to keep your resolution….here are my 10 top tips, and a little video….

1) Make only one resolution, your chances of success are greater when you channel energy into changing just one aspect of your behaviour.

2) Don’t wait until New Year’s Eve to think about your resolution and instead take some time out a few days before and reflect upon what you really want to achieve.

3) Avoid previous resolutions; deciding to re-visit a past resolution sets you up for frustration and disappointment.

4) Don’t run with the crowd and go with the usual resolutions.  Instead think about what you really want out of life.

5) Break your goal into a series of steps, focusing on creating sub-goals that are concrete, measurable, and time-based.

6) Tell your friends and family about your goals, thus increasing the fear of failure and eliciting support.

7) Regularly remind yourself of the benefits associated with achieving your goals by creating a checklist of how life would be better once you obtain your aim.

8) Give yourself a small reward whenever you achieve a sub-goal, thus maintaining motivation and a sense of progress.

9) Make your plans and progress concrete by keeping a handwritten journal, completing a computer spreadsheet or covering a notice board with graphs or pictures.

 10) Expect to revert to your old habits from time to time. Treat any failure as a temporary set-back rather than a reason to give up altogether.

So, are you going to make a resolution and, if so, what is it?


  1. After 65 years of making failed resolutions, I made one last one: Never to make another New Year’s Resolution. Now. 19 years later, it’s the only one I’ve ever kept!

  2. I don’t think so. I’m pretty happy with my life as it is. People do tell me I should exercise more, but I don’t really see the point in randomly running around. I’ll get my exercise when the weather gets better and I get out to photograph things again.

  3. There are so many things I feel I should achieve that it’ll be hard to pick one. I have trouble making plans – I feel put under pressure when I do that and I don’t feel confident of my chances of reaching my goal. But I’d been thinking already of what I want to do better in the new year, so I’m going to try to follow your 10 steps to see if I can do just one thing to improve my life. I’ll work on getting out and about more.

  4. How to keep your New Year’s Resolutions:

    (1) Don’t make any.

    What’s the point? If it is a “good thing to do”, and if you have the self-discipline to stick to it, you should be doing it anyway. If you can’t be bothered, why pretend?

  5. I get very depressed. This time next year I want to be less depressed.

    The steps I am going to take are as follows:

    1. Get more exercise and fresh air by going for a walk every day.
    2. Take photographs every day. Photography always makes me feel better – and I have got a project to do which gives me a purpose.

    Everything else in my life that I want to achieve depends on me not being miserable.

  6. Last year I picked something easy, posted it on your blog and told several other people about it, and I still haven’t done it. Still three days to go though, so who knows…

    Just saw the gorilla in the xmas lectures btw.

  7. no, never do, haven’t for many years & been much happier.Spoils the festive holiday with lent-like tasks-so very Christian-gave that up at young age,religion that is. Or it could be puritan amer. idea to ruin carefree holiday. Whenever I needed some self improvement found it more effective to start with actual date needed.Hate the whole idea of ruining a holiday with punitive measures.Guess I’m just a happy pagan. Happy New Years all!!!!!!!

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