How to make your New Year’s resolutions a success

It’s that time of the year again! After all the excesses of Christmas – too many mince pies, cheeseboards and mulled wine – we can often start feeling like we need to make some sort of penance in January.

A recent YouGov survey shows one in five Britons have pledged to make a New Year’s resolution for 2024, compared to just one in seven who say they made a resolution for 2023.

In fact, younger people are most likely to vow to make some changes for the new year, with 41% of 18–24-year-olds saying they’ll make a resolution for 2024. As you’d expect, some of the most popular resolutions for 2024 are health-focused, including:

getting fitter, losing weight, drinking less alcohol and improving diets. Meanwhile others involve saving more money, pursuing a career ambition, learning a new hobby, and spending more time with the family and less time on social media.

Ready to make some changes of your own in 2024? Instead of quitting or cutting something out, which can set you up to fail, try setting positive goals throughout the year.

Here are our tips on how to succeed with the most popular New Year’s resolutions:


Get healthier

Remember: you don’t necessarily need to join a gym to get healthier – and you definitely don’t need starve yourself.

If the idea of the gym is a non-starter, try going for more walks instead. Or give Couch to 5K a go, which many people find to be much more achievable than they imagined.

Maybe you’re not a confident swimmer, but you want the peace of mind that your children are? Try enrolling them in some swimming lessons, and even take some yourself. You’ll always get the most out of exercise by finding something you enjoy.

When it comes to your diet, make small changes like cutting down on processed foods like crisps, alcohol and takeaways – you don’t need to go without them completely. And cooking from scratch is great for eating healthier, and can be fun to get your children involved too.


Saving money

With everything costing more money at the moment, it can feel harder than ever to save for the future. But it’s amazing how even the smallest changes can add up though.

If you’re a takeaway coffee lover, try making it at home and taking it out with you in a reusable coffee cup. And if you decide to cut the takeaways and alcohol as part of a new health kick, you’ll start seeing your savings add up in no time.


Career change

Often a new year makes us reassess our career and plans for the future. Perhaps you’ve already started casually looking at what’s out there, and want to step up your job search, or maybe you could be looking for a change within your current organisation.

Simply start by updating your CV, or keep an eye out for opportunities for personal development like a training course – so you can be ready for the next step up (or out).


Learn a new hobby

Learning new languages and creative skills are often at the top of this list. But we often feel disappointed in ourselves when we don’t master them in the first couple of months.

The thing is: you don’t need to. Hobbies are meant to be fun, and you can pick them up when you have spare time, or put them down again when life gets a bit too busy. You’ll never be back to square one. So why not give Duolingo or that local pottery class a go?


Spend more time with the family

If you’re a busy household with parents working and children doing various after-school activities, it can often feel like you don’t spend enough time together.

Try setting a date to do something at least once a month as a family, or make sure you sit down together to eat and catch up a couple of times a week.


Spend less time on social media

It’s so easy to pick up your phone when you’re bored or watching TV, and especially when you’re supposed to be doing something productive.

If you want to limit your time on social media, you can temporarily remove or disable the apps on your phone, put your phone away in another room, or only allow yourself certain times of the day to look at social media. Once you’ve got into the habit of not looking every five minutes, you’ll find it much easier to resist the urge.

(And the cat videos will still be there when you go back, don’t worry!)