NY resolutions go up in smoke

HAPPY 2015: Fireworks signal the start of a new year and, of course, many broken resolutions.
HAPPY 2015: Fireworks signal the start of a new year and, of course, many broken resolutions. Sharon Smallwood

AS the hangovers wear off, the jubilation dies down and last night's excitement fades, it's likely your New Year's resolution will soon follow suit.

A study conducted by the University of Bristol found about 88% of those who set New Year's resolutions fail, despite initial optimism.

The study also found talking with a counsellor about resolutions can lead to increased success, so we got in touch with Northern Rivers counsellor and life coach Debra Johnston.

Ms Johnston said airing your resolution, instead of keeping it to yourself, can help.

"Writing it down helps. Put it in your diary," she said.

"If you do that you'll already have time allocated for it in your day and you will hopefully just do it.

"Or get support from a family member of friend so they can encourage you.

"Once someone else knows, or it's written down, it's a bit like a contract you have to keep."

Ms Johnston said one of the best ways to follow through with resolutions is to break them down into achievable goals.

"It's very hard to keep some resolutions, people tend to make them too difficult," she said.

"Instead of doing something big, you could choose smaller, progressive goals and keep it realistic.

"It's very hard to make a big change at once on a whim."

Broadening resolutions is another way to make them achievable, Ms Johnston said.

"So, if you have a resolution to lose a certain amount of weight, instead just set a goal to be more active," she said.

This means you'll feel good about what you have achieved, instead of dwelling on the slip-ups.

And the very easiest way to avoid breaking New Year's resolutions?

Don't make one.

"I don't make resolutions actually. I try and keep positive all the time," Ms Johnston said.

However, when friends and family are spruiking their own revolutionary resolution, it can be tough to avoid following the crowd.

"Everyone talks about it, so others think about it," Ms Johnston said.

"People just want that fresh start to the year, they want to change and this is to push them towards that change."

Ms Johnston believes quitting smoking, losing weight and joining a gym will be the most common resolutions forgotten in 2015.

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