How to make lasting New Year's resolution

How to make a lasting New Year's resolution

3rd January 2020

I am writing this on the 1st January 2020 and want to wish you all a happy 2020. This is the day that many people decide to make a resolution to do or be 'something' better over the next 12 months. Can you make those resolutions work and last? Yes you can! However, it takes more than just saying 'This year I am going to ……………..'

A 2007 study reported that 88% of new year resolutions fail, while another showed that by March, 80% of people had reverted back to their old behaviours. The NHS reckons that only 1 in 10 new year resolutions will succeed.

Here are our top tips on how to make sure that your resolution is well thought out and you have a plan in place to make it happen in 2020. Instead of just saying the first thing that comes into your head, there is a systematic, tried and tested, way of setting out goals and making an action plan for change. Work your way through our questions below and be honest with yourself.

What does Health and Well-being mean to you?

If you could change one thing to improve your Health and Well-being, what would that be?

How important is this change to you? (1 not important, 10 very important)   1      2      3     4      5      6      7      8      9      10

Start writing a plan with small step SMART goals that will help you achieve your Health and Well-being change in 2020. SMART stands for -

  • Small and specific - think small steps, not big leaps
  • Measurable - will you know if you have met them?
  • Achievable - is this something you can currently change?
  • Realistic - is it within your grasp/ability/gift to make this change?
  • Time set - when will you do this small goal by and for how long?

Goals to make this change



Next consider how confident are you of being able to make this change or these changes? (1 not confident, 10 highly confident)          1     2    3    4    5    6     7     8     9     10

If you score low here are there things you can instigate to increase your confidence of successful change?

Review your goals set above at a specific time period, perhaps a week or 2 weeks, assess how you've got on and then set your next goals.

If this has started you thinking about making a change in 2020, here are some ideas to get you thinking. Compiled from a variety of surveys, the 10 most common New Years resolutions are -

  1. eat healthier
  2. exercide more
  3. lose weight
  4. save more or spend less money
  5. learn a new skill or hobby
  6. spend more time with family and friends
  7. drink less alcohol
  8. quit smoking
  9. spend more time on own well-being
  10. find another job.

A Happy Healthy 2020 from AppleTree Healthy Lifestyle Consultancy.

Dr Laura Stewart

1st January 2020