How to stick to New Year's resolutions in 2015

01/01/15

Chips and curry sauce

Obviously, you are already totally perfect. But just on the off-chance that you could do with a spot of self-improvement, Newsbeat has found out how to make New Year's resolutions work for you.

According to the University of Scranton, only 8% of people who make resolutions at the start of January actually end up doing them by the end of the year.

But we've spoken to life coach Lynda Field about how to stand a chance of actually keeping your resolutions.

1) Be specific

If you have decided that 2015 is the year that you're going to get thin/ rich/ successful/ happy, then Lynda's got some bad news for you. She thinks you will fail because you're being too vague.

You can't pin these resolutions down," she advises.

"It needs to be measurable, and you need to be specific, so you know what steps to take. Then you can drill it down into an action plan with one small step leading to the next."

Man smoking
Image caption I will never, ever, ever do this again. Starting from tomorrow

2)Don't beat yourself up

If this is the year you're going to stop being so fat or ugly or all-round unlovable, then you're going about it the wrong way.

According to Lynda, if you make a resolution that's filled with self-hate, you are bound to fail.

"We only carry things through if we're supporting ourselves in a kindly way. If we're being critical of ourselves, on a unconscious level we won't believe we can keep it, and we won't keep it.

"We will rebel and we will prove to ourselves what we know to be true - that we're stupid."

Jogging in the snow
Image caption I will go running every day. Maybe I'll start in the summer

3) Turn a negative into a positive.

There's no point coming up with promises like: "I'm going to stop going for the wrong sort of guy or girl." Lynda says it's better to flip that round.

"If you go for bad boys, then I'd say you need to look at people who are not like that. So, decide to pick up on people who are kind and generous instead," she says.

4) Give yourself time - but not too much

Lynda reckons that it's important to set yourself a time frame "so it doesn't extend into eternity, but it doesn't have to all happen in two days either."

So, let's say you want to lose 20kg in total. Lynda says the best way is to aim to lost two kg in January.

She says "Once you've achieved success in that short-term goal, it encourages you to go for something big."

Bride and Groom
Image caption You are invited to my 2015 dream wedding. Groom TBC

5) Stay motivated

This is where so many of us fall down. It's easy enough to be determined in January, but by the time summer is here, your willpower may well have faded.

Lynda says the trick to this to set yourself bite-sized chunks, so your resolution seems less daunting.

She compares it to being at the bottom of a steep set of stairs.

"You don't want to look at the whole staircase and think: 'I can't do it.' Instead, look at each small step. Take the first small step, and then the next small step, and carry on."

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