Your new approach to
New Year's resolutions

We haven�t even got Christmas out of the way yet but somehow we�re already thinking about the New Year and the resolutions we�ll be setting ourselves.

According to research carried out by online shopping site earlier this year, only 3% of us are likely to stick to our New Year�s resolution for the full 12 months. The survey of 750 people revealed that of those who make resolutions, the majority would quit after just three and a half weeks (Friday 23rd in 2015).

And it�s not just us Brits who struggle to commit to our plans for the year ahead either; our American cousins have just as little willpower as us. Research carried out by the University of Scranton showed that although 45% of Americans make New Year�s resolutions, only 8% of them actually achieve their goals.

A YouGov survey carried out for The Times in 2013 showed the most popular targets set out by those who wanted to challenge themselves in 2014.

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Here are the top 10 resolutions people were hoping to achieve this year:

  1. Do more exercise
  2. Lose weight
  3. Improve diet
  4. Save more money
  5. Pursue career ambitions
  6. Quit smoking
  7. Decorate home
  8. Take up a new hobby
  9. Cut down on drinking
  10. Volunteer/do more charity work
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Is yours on the list? Ours certainly are, so how come we aren�t all size eight marathon runners with fat bank accounts?

Probably because we�re taking on too much at once, according to psychologist BJ Fogg. He says you are more likely to stick to your New Year�s resolution if you just pick one and focus your energy on that.

So, should you even make a list at all?

Well, yes, don�t be put off trying new things in the New Year, writing down your aims and setting out targets can actually help. The research from the University of Scranton actually shows that those who explicitly make resolutions are 10 times more likely to achieve them than those who don�t.

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Follow these 3 great tips to help you push past �Fail Friday� this January:

  • Start simple � saying you�re going to go to the gym 6 nights-a-week when your current evening routine involves you in your PJs 10 minutes after walking through the door and spending the night on the sofa, is a bit of a reach. Set realistic goals and build from there. If after a month you�re smashing your three workouts-a-week, then add another then do the same a month after that. You�ll be super fit in no time and � even better � you�ll actually enjoy trips to the gym!
  • Work as a team � if you�re working towards something without any support it�ll be really easy to find an excuse to skip the gym tonight/just have one chocolate/blow �50 in Primark. If you have a buddy who�s got their own goals they�re struggling with, you�ll have someone to encourage you when you want to give up and to spur you on when you need a boost. Whether it�s your partner, your mum or your best mate, pick someone you know you can rely on
  • Don�t do too much � we said it earlier but it really is the most important point to remember. After the indulgence of the festive season, saying we�re going to become gym bunnies, never eat chocolate again, never let an alcoholic drink pass our lips and start dedicating our Saturdays to charity, is easy. Actually doing any of those things is anything but. If you try to do it all at once you�ll burn yourself out and fall off the wagon � and that will be a spectacular fall believe us. Pick one goal and go for it, when you start to see the results adding more goals won�t seem so daunting

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