Many of us do New Year resolutions. However do we keep them? Research suggests that fewer than 10% manage to keep resolutions for more than a few months. It seems that the main reason these fail is that we set too high a goal and are not realistic about our expectations. To change our problematic behavior we need to invest in challenging our thinking and feelings. However, there are tried and tested ways that can help us start a new page:

  • Share your resolution: Let family and friends know that you wish to change your behaviour. Ask for their help. If, for example you’d like to lose weight, they might help out by not piling your plate with food or let you fill up with vegetables and protein.
  • Be realistic: You need to aim for resolutions that you can keep. Be practical. If you’d like to improve your relationship, start on working on one aspect at a time. Focus, for example on improving communication and having quality time together.
  • Do one thing at a time: Do not make too many goals. If you want to be fitter, focus on exercise first, or cut smoking first. Do not do them all at once as it might be overwhelming and you will give up.

In the second part of this blog I will be discussing how we can achieve our resolutions through the SMART technique.


Anna Catania is a counsellor with Willingness. She has had a special interest in working with clients facing intimacy and sexual difficulties and runs a service for families going through cancer and chronic illness. She can be contacted on

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