Are you making New Year’s resolutions for 2024? Many people set goals for themselves at this time of year, from learning a language to taking up a new sport. But how many of us actually achieve them?
According to a poll by Forbes, over 60 per cent of us intend to set ourselves resolutions this new year. However, the same research revealed that most of us will have ditched our plans by the second or third month.
But this doesn’t mean we shouldn’t make the most of the energy and determination many feel at the start of a new year. Instead, we should revolutionise our resolutions and create a pathway to success.
Try these tips to supercharge your 2024 goals.
With a little thought, we could probably all write a lengthy list of things we’d like to achieve within a year. But setting too many resolutions may muddy the waters. Rather than set yourself up to fail by listing five or ten targets, choose one or two meaningful resolutions and give them your full attention.
It’s tempting to reach for the stars, but while the sky may be the limit, it’s a good idea to consider the route we might need to take. We all want to save for that dream holiday or upgrade our two-bed semi for a mansion in the Maldives, and who doesn’t want to hone their body to supermodel standards? But if we want to make meaningful change, it’s important to consider our starting point and work out our intentions realistically.
Take some time to think about what’s possible over the course of the year. Where do you want to be by December 2024? Is it realistic? And if so, how might you go about getting there?
Break it down
Whether it’s quitting our afternoon biscuit habit, limiting our caffeine intake or saving a meaningful sum, breaking our goal into smaller steps might make a bigger impact in the long-term. For example, if you want to run 10k, but aren’t particularly fit, plan to start walking in month one, gentle jogging in month two and build up your distances as you go. If you’re looking to save, choose a weekly or monthly amount to aim for.
Use positive language
When it comes to goal setting, choosing the right words could make a big difference. Using positive language should help you to feel more optimistic about where you’re headed. For example, rather than spend less, you could save more, rather than lose weight, perhaps plan to improve health. When we look at a goal and feel pleasure, we are likely to feel a lot better on the tougher days.
Get expert support
If you plan to do something drastic or challenging for 2024, it’s worth thinking about enlisting some support. Goals such as quitting cigarettes, reducing or cutting out alcohol, tackling a marathon, or saving a significant sum might be better achieved with expert support. But don’t worry - this doesn’t necessarily mean splashing the cash. Joining an NHS programme, finding a local running group or speaking to experts at your financial provider could prove invaluable. Think about what advice you might need, and don’t be afraid to reach out.
Sharing is caring
As well as enlisting the help of an expert, it’s worth sharing important goals with family or friends. Having someone cheerleading from the sidelines, holding you accountable or even joining you in your quest can help you to stay focused even when times are tough.
To ensure you get the right support, rather than simply tell a friend or family member about your resolution, explain how you’d like them to help. Persuade a friend to try the couch to 5k programme, see if you can join an exercise class together, or share your personal goals and ask them to check on your progress at key times. Having someone else on board can make all the difference. Plus, when you achieve your target, you’ll have someone to celebrate with.
Don’t give up if you slip up
Achieving a resolution won’t always be straightforward. And life has a habit of throwing us some curveballs. If you succumb to a chocolate bar after a stressful day despite your vow to eat only lettuce, or splash a bit of cash at the shops despite your resolution to save every penny, that doesn’t mean it’s game over. It’s hard to be consistent for an entire year without the odd hiccup – and slipping up doesn’t mean you have to quit entirely. Most pathways have the odd dip or pothole, but getting up and carrying on should still help you move to a better place.
Remember: a year is a long time and meaningful change will still be possible.
By choosing the right goals, creating a pathway, and enlisting support, you could turn those resolutions into reality.