How to make New Year's resolutions (and actually stick to them!)

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When the clock strikes 12am on the 1st January, we all vow to lose a stone, get a promotion, save a ton of money and travel the world, but does any of this actually happen when the following New Year’s Eve rolls around?

Whilst it’s all well and good vowing to become new and improved versions of ourselves, it can be pretty disappointing if we fail to do what we intend to.

New Year's resolutionsNew Year's resolutionsNew Year's resolutions

Don’t let this get you down. Rather than setting yourself up to fail from the beginning, we are going to show how you can actually stick to your New Year’s resolutions!

Piggy bank

Resolution #1: Manage your money

Christmas is a very expensive time of year: not only are there presents to buy, but there are endless parties and meals to plan. It can leave us feeling extremely broke by the time January (eventually!) rolls around.

It makes sense to want to save your money. But it’s something you should invest in over your life, not just in the New Year.

To help stick to your money saving objectives, you need to set yourself easily attainable targets. Sit down and work out your incomings and outgoings. That way, you know how much money you can save: it could be £500, it could be £200. It could even be forgoing your daily Starbucks for the sake of £20 a week. Whatever it is, you need to make sure that your goals are measurable and achievable.

If you struggle to keep a track of your spending, then check out these free apps. Don’t be one of the 59% of Brits who don’t know how much money they have in their account: start managing your finances now.

If you really struggle to keep control of your outgoings, then withdrawing cash could be an effective option. Research has shown that we spend more when we don’t physically see the money going out of our hands. Start handing over those £20 notes, and you may feel more differently about splurging on non-essential things.

Of course, there’s no fun in being strict if you can’t treat yourself every now and then. Having an end goal can be a great motivation. Want to put a deposit down on a house? Or go on that dream holiday you’ve got all planned in your head? Now’s a good time to look at resolution #2…


Resolution #2: Travel more

2017 is the year you’re going to experience new cultures, make new friends and try new food, all thanks to you visiting far-flung destinations, right?

To simply set yourself a goal of ‘travelling more’ is very broad, and doesn’t really say what you actually plan to do. You need to be more specific. Do you simply want to see more of the world?  The #Take12Trips challenge could be perfect for you.

Favoured by top bloggers, set yourself the task of visiting somewhere new each month. This doesn’t have to be exclusive to long haul destinations: it could be a day trip to London, or a weekend to Amsterdam.

To keep costs down, ensure to plan ahead and check out deals on low-cost companies like Ryanair and EasyJet, who regularly offer promotions.

Alternatively, there may be a particular destination that you’ve always dreamed of visiting. What better time than 2017 to finally tick it off your bucket list? Once you’ve decided where you want to go, start researching. Check out flight prices and hotels, so that you’ve got a budget to work against.

This is a great motivation to ensure you stick to Resolution #1. Suddenly that glass of wine you’ve turned down at the local pub doesn’t seem as tempting when you realise you could be sipping it on a rooftop bar in Los Angeles!

If you think that travelling on a budget is impossible, then think again! The Money Shop £200 Challenge proves that you can easily explore the world without breaking the bank. Just don’t forget to book your travel money before you jet off to save you money!

If you need some inspiration on where to visit this year, take a look at our alternative European breaks – easily done over a long weekend – or these stunning beach destinations.

Yoga at sunrise

Resolution #3: Lose weight

We’re sure this particular New Year’s resolution has featured on everyone’s list year after year!

Deciding you want to be fit and healthy is a great resolution: but when you’ve reached the middle on January and you’re still working your way through selection boxes whilst binge-watching Netflix, then it’s easy to give up.

Instead, you need to make a plan of action. If it’s weight you want to lose, then check that it’s healthy to do so – you can do this by using the NHS’ free BMI calculator.

Once you’ve set yourself that end weight goal, work out how much you plan to lose each week – 1-2lbs is plenty, as losing a lot of weight all at once can be dangerous.

The first step to losing weight and feeling better in yourself is with healthy eating. Plan your meals ahead and write down a shopping list. Not only will this help keep you on track with your meals, but it’s also good for your wallet, as you won’t panic-buy unnecessary items.

If you have a family, then it can be difficult keeping up your healthy eating regime if you’re cooking different meals for partners and children. However, healthy eating can be tasty too! These recipes can be enjoyed by all of the family, and for under £5, your bank will thank you too!

The second part to achieving your fitness goals is exercise. Fitbits and gym subscriptions can be very costly, but it’s just as easy to get fit for free. From YouTube workouts, to apps and good old fashioned runs, there are plenty of ideas to get you started!

Working on a laptop

Resolution #4: Get a promotion

The New Year can fill all of us with determination to get ahead in our career. But whilst it’s easy to say that you want to be promoted, it’s another thing to develop your skills so that you can actually achieve it.

Rather than making 2017 the year of ‘getting a promotion’, make it the year to build yourself both professionally and personally.

Identify areas at work where you need to improve. Perhaps it’s training on some software, or maybe it’s building your knowledge of a specific part of the industry you work in. Speaking with your manager can be a great way to identify these areas.

It’s not just professional skills that can help you to get ahead in your job, but personal ones too. Being organised, disciplined and articulate are all great qualities to have in the workplace.

If you’re wondering what areas you should be focussing on improving, take a look at this article here.

Top of a mountain

Resolution #5: Live life to the fullest

On its own, this is a very generic resolution. Similar to the resolution to ‘travel more’, you need to think about what living life to the fullest means to you. Is it embarking on those travel plans? Perhaps it means becoming fit and healthy? It could even mean enjoying quality time with family?

Working out what this means to you is the first step to achieving this resolution.

The next thing you need to do is break the end goal down into small steps towards achieving it. If you want to spend more time with your family, then your goal could be something as simple as having dinner with each other every night.

You’ll soon find that this feeds into all of the above resolutions. Whilst it means you’ve got time to catch up with one another and find out what you’ve been doing during the day, it helps you to save money by planning in advance. This can also be beneficial if you are trying to be healthy, as you can plan in advance.

The key to New Year’s Resolutions making sure you have a clear end goal in mind, and breaking it down into small, easily attainable steps. You could even write a bucket list! Don’t be afraid to reward yourself (within reason!) when you reach goals to keep yourself motivated.

Follow these steps and you’ll thank us on 31st December 2017 when you’ve just come back from running a marathon in New Zealand, which you paid for from your promotion at work!

Want more money saving tips? Check out our blog!

Remember, do not spend more than your disposable income allows.

All information was correct at the time of writing.

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