top of page

Reigniting your "failed" New Years Resolutions.

Updated: Oct 25, 2023

It may seem a bit late in the year to be doing a New Year’s resolution post, and you’d be completely forgiven for thinking I’ve got my blog schedule mixed up.


Did you know that improved mental health is one of the top New Year’s resolutions accounting for approximately 45% of goals, unfortunately it’s also estimated that as many as 40% of people who make new years resolutions will quit them by the end of the first month. Which brings us to the here and now.

If your reading this there's a fair chance your looking to improve either your mental Health or your general wellbeing. There's also a fair chance that like many others your motivation is starting to wane and that goal isn't looking so shiny and bright anymore. While it all sounds doom and gloom there are some relatively simple ways to boost your new years resolution success and get back on track. Yes even this late in the Year!

Thought without action is only a dream

1. Quit all or nothing thinking.

Just because you did something that wasn’t in line with your resolution doesn’t mean it’s a failure or you need to quit. Doing something positive for yourself even 20% of the time is much better than doing it 0% of the time. When we judge our slip ups too harshly we start a cognitive chain of failure and giving up which makes it very hard to keep/or get back on track.

You can help by reframing your goals towards doing something positive more often rather than never doing something you wis to decrease. For example rather than the goal of not drinking any alcohol, aim for a goal of choosing non-alcoholic drinks more often. Although it goes against the coveted "SMART" goals rule sometimes ultra specific goals set us up for failure because they usually have no allowance for . When we make more flexible goals we can accept slip ups (or make adult decisions) without judgement and move on with our goals.

2. Make your New Years Resolutions something you care about, not something you think you should.

Goals that are intrinsically motivated are more likely to be successful because the motivation that comes from within you is much more consistent than that which comes from external sources. Don't get me wrong external motivation can be great (check point 3 below), but at the end of the night its going to be at home deciding if you should eat the Tim Tams or hit the treadmill so skip the societal pressure and focus on the things you care about.

While we are here don't be afraid to change up your goals if you find things have changed for you throughout the month or even the year. You are allowed to change your mind, desires and direction in life and your goals should reflect that. However, don't use this as permission to give up because things got to hard. If it gets hard give yourself an interim goal, try a different tactic, but don't give up if it is something you want. Only you will know if you changed your goal because it got too hard or because it was no longer in your best interest. But You will know!

3. Use external resources for accountability.

This may sound counteractive to point 2 but using external accountability can keep you going when your own motivation starts to fail. For example its really hard to stick to a clean eating diet when there's junk food in your house and everyone else is eating it. So enlist a little help, a chart, diary, or loved one can make all the difference. A tough love partner may be in order but be careful accountability built on punishment or shame can result in resentment. You need to find the balance and what works for you, whether you just need to know someone else is doing it tough with you (lets face it much of our improving is depriving ourselves of something), you need someone to celebrate your accomplishments, a visual reminder of why you are doing it, or some kind of prize.

4. Manifest your goals.

No, I’m not talking about those FB messages that promise $5000 if you share within 15 mins. Manifesting your dreams isn't (or shouldn't) be about wishing for things and hoping they somehow fall into place. I’m talking about manifesting the energy to recognise and accept changes into your life. Try this... Close your eyes and visualise what life looks like having already accomplished your goal. Where are you? What can you see? How do you look, your posture, your expression? Who are you with? Most importantly how does it feel, how do you feel right now in your body seeing your success?

Manifesting when done right can be a powerful too. Believing and envisaging our goals as not only possible but achievable creates a catalyst for cognitive and behavioural changes that put you on a path to realising your goals. You may find the resources you needed were right in front of you the whole time or a new found energy to act in a way that is conducive to your goal. For example someone looking for love who believes they are deserving of love and will find they one for them may just start loving themselves a little more . And if I know anything about love its that the first step is to love yourself.

Just remember though, thought without action is only a dream.

5. Small consistent steps.

Integrate small parts of your goal into everyday life. We often get excited by new goals and jump in full blaze ahead. While this kind of energy is aspirational its usually not sustainable and people burn out quickly long before their goals are met. Others might set their goal so high they have no idea how to get there and freeze in planning mode, again thought without action is only a dream.

Making small consistent steps ensures action without burnout.

One of the most frequent goals my clients come to me with is wanting to add mindfulness into their lives. I always start them the same, we brainstorm 2-4 key moments in their normal daily routine and we add a mindfulness component to it. Each of these components takes only a few seconds to do alongside their daily lives but it adds up to consistent achievable action.

Once these small steps have become integrated add in a larger task by either extending the duration of the first tasks or dedicating time one a week or month to a complex task that gets you closer to realising your goal.


bottom of page