How to set New Years resolutions you'll actually keep

If there's one thing we can always rely on, it's that this time of year will always bring with it a flurry of motivational quotes plastered over Instagram accompanied by hashtags like #newyearnewme, designed to inspire those excited by the fresh start that a new calendar year promises.

Problem is, by the time February 1st hits, much of this motivation has dropped off into the deep abyss as life's little distractions begin to crop up. 

Like many, I am unashamed to say that I am one such person. The start of a new year always incites total immersion in what this year's resolutions will be, only to discover by the end of the year I don't look like Miranda Kerr, I spend more time looking at a screen than I do with my family, and my bank account is still in dire straits. 

However, if you're determined to #make2017youryear, then let us walk you through how to create an achievable New Years resolution list, that won't leave you longing by the time 2018 hits. 

1. Be specific
It's all very well and good saying you'll aim to lead a healthier lifestyle, or try to save more money, but studies have shown that those who are super specific around what they want to achieve are more likely to go ahead and achieve it. Define exactly what it is you want to achieve so that your resolution is measurable. Focus on achieving your short-term goal first, before making it a year-long commitment. 

2. Write it down
Penning your resolution may make the difference between those that tick resolutions off their proverbial list and those that don't. Writing it down somehow makes your goal for the year more permanent, and ingrained into your psyche for 2017. Better still, write your resolution somewhere where you can see it and be reminded of it daily, to motivate you to keep going even when you may not feel like it. 

3. Measure progress
Continue reflecting on where you started so you can establish on where you are in relation to achieving your goal. Documenting your progress every couple of months will help you when you hit a plateau or start slipping backwards, so you can up the ante. 

4. Be accountable
Tell a friend or family member what you want to achieve in 2017, and they'll hold you accountable throughout the year. Social support is super important in keeping you focused and on track, especially if your goal is challenging. It's harder to admit to a friend that you've fallen off the bandwagon than it is to break a promise to yourself. 

5. Make time
Schedule time in your diary to achieve your goals. We have 24 hours in a day to spend however we wish, so by making your goal a priority and blocking out time like you would any other activity, you up your chances of making this a reality. You wouldn't reschedule a job interview, so why reschedule something so important to you? 

Fail to plan, plan to fail, is what we always say. 

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