How Do You Make Effective New Year Resolutions?

Posted on: 17th January, 2022

It’s that time of the year. The new year rolls around and you resolve to exercise more, or read a few more books or eat healthy. And yet each time, as January comes to a close, you find that you have not made much progress on your goals. By February, you have given up.

Why do so many people make resolutions only to have them end in failure? In this blog, we explore how you can set realistic new year resolutions and follow through them.

Why do new New Year resolutions fail?

Uncovering the reason why you’re not able to keep resolutions can help alter your process of making resolutions. The resolution itself might be hindering you from achieving them. Some common wayward resolution-making include:

  • Having vague resolutions
  • Not having a thorough plan of action
  • It’s not a resolution you’re keen on following through with
  • Believing your resolutions can be achieved overnight
  • Not tracking your progress

Whether you’re planning on saving more money this year or learning a new skill, like playing the guitar, side step these common resolution pitfalls by creating one that is right for you and one that you’re more likely to achieve.

How do you follow through with your resolutions?


1. Create SMART resolutions

Your resolutions need to be SMART – specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound.

  • Specific: Describe your resolution with as many specific details as possible, in order to make it more concrete and effective. (e.g., I want to lose 6 kg in 3 months)
  • Measurable: What tangible activity must be done to achieve your resolution? (e.g., I will run 5K 4 times a week)
  • Achievable: Ensure your goal challenges you but does not overwhelm you. (e.g., I want to lose 20 kg in 1 month, would be an unrealistic goal)
  • Relevant: If this New Year resolution is not something that means much to you and you’re only doing it because your teachers or parents have brought it up, why are you doing it? Changing it to one that matters to you would increase the chances of you achieving it.
  • Time-bound: Create milestones with specific time frames. (e.g., I will lose 2 kg every month)

2. Identify ways to inspire and motivate yourself

In a state of motivation, you are driven and fired up to achieve your resolutions. How do you increase your motivation? Learn some effective strategies that fuel your motivation. If you’re more motivated, you’re more likely to persist and stick with your resolutions – even when the going gets tough.

One such strategy includes building a routine. For example, if you would like to lose weight, making running a habit and part of your routine, makes doing it easier. By also creating a good system of support, for example by surrounding yourself or going to the gym with friends who also want to lose weight, you keep yourself motivated. You also make the whole process more enjoyable.

3. Commit yourself

Develop a system of accountability. Share your goal with your friends and family or post your plans and updates on social media. By doing so, you feel a certain obligation of needing to live up to what you set out to do. Each time someone asks about whether you’re sticking to your New Year resolution or how it’s progressing, you want to be able to let them know you’re working on it.

By also tracking your progress in a journal and documenting your journey, you’re more aware of how you’re doing – and whether you’re doing all it takes to achieve what you resolved to. You might need to alter your exercise routine or add more workouts in the week or engage in healthier eating in order to achieve your weight loss resolution. In this way, you stay the course and are on the right path to achieve your goals.

Challenge yourself at PSB Academy this year

Searching for creative ideas for New Year resolutions? Why not learn a new skill or stretch yourself academically? Enrol in a short course or a diploma at PSB Academy. Learn more about the different courses we offer here by speaking to our programme consultant or visiting us at our campus.