Making Resolutions That Work

Anyone who has read my blogs before will no I am staunch believe in NOT making New Year’s Resolutions. I strongly believe we set ourselves up to fail with a January promise. However, after the festive fever has gone, it does feel natural to cleanse and make a few changes. Can we make promises to change things in our lives that will last? I believe we can.

Every year I used to write a list of resolutions. I yearned for change but the items I scribbled in my pretty hard backed notebook were unrealistic. They were a hop, skip and jump to where I wanted to be but I missed one vital thing. I had no idea how to find the path to get me there. The path being: motivation and barriers. What I really should have been writing on the list was how to remove those.

So item one should always be, what is preventing you from achieving your goals. Explore that one during January.

The next mistake I used to make (and still do) is setting resolutions around doing more of something when I already can’t find the time for every day life! So the second item on the list should be about freeing up time for the things you want to do. If you want to write a blog a day, you will have to cut back on the Netflix Claire. Simple.

After you’ve figured out the barriers, liberated some time from your schedule, you should be able to achieve the new resolutions. If they are achievable. How do you figure out if they are achievable? Ask yourself key questions. How long will it realistically take? Do you have the resources right now? Do you have the support network? I am not saying to set limits. A positive frame of mind is essential. You have the potential to achieve your dreams. But laying down the ground work promises success. The third resolution should be to measure each subsequent resolution.

But too much analysis can also be crippling. Breaking down your resolutions into bite size achievable pieces will keep motivated. Item four on the list should be ‘just do it’.

The last resolution before the actual resolutions should be a promise to randomly review and change the resolutions whenever you feel like it. Reading a book a week was always on my list. But the fact is, I don’t really like reading novels that much anymore. What I should have written is, read every day: an article, a paragraph, a chapter.

In summary then…

1. Figure out your barriers to achieve your goals. Find out what motivates you when you are successful.

2. Free up the time. Swap one activity for the new one. Stop doing things which are destructive, distracting and add no value to your life.

3. What will make your goals achievable.

4. Just do it. Bit by bit. Give yourself credit for achieving each part of your goal.

5. How’s it going? Review how you feel about your goals at random. Don’t be afraid to modify, abandon or completely change the list. But evaluate why each time.

6. What do you want to achieve this year? What will really make you happy? And remember that it’s likely to be experiences rather than materialistic acquisitions…

You could simply make one small tiny resolution and aim to stick at it forever! If you’re a patient kind of person.

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About Claire Jones-Hughes

Founder and co-editor of, Claire has been blogging since 2009. She has posted on a variety of sites including The Argus, The Huffington Post and The Guardian's Comment Is Free. Known as The Contented Mummy on social media, she is dedicated to honest, unsponsored blogging so that parents can benefit from shared experience. Can also be found at - sharing her journey to health & wellness.

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