How to Keep Up Your New Year’s Resolution

Adam Warrington3 min readWellbeing

Keeping up a New Year’s Resolution is hard. Although It’s estimated that over half of us Brits will start one1, statistics suggest that less than a third of us will actually see it through2. But you’re not a statistic. Armed with an adventurous spirit and the tips you’re about to read, you’ll have everything you need to make it to the summit.  Whether you’re just starting out or looking for some advice on how to stay on track, this guide will walk you through some of the key ingredients for success.

Make sure your goal is SMART

Clearly defined targets are the secret to success when it comes to setting goals and smashing them. Don’t leave any room for ambiguity. The SMART framework is a simple yet powerful tool that will help set you up for success. Make sure any goal you take on in 2022 is…

  • Specific – ‘get fitter’ won’t cut it here. We need specifics. Here’s an improved example – I’m going to improve my fitness by walking 10,000+ steps 5 times a week for 3 months. 
  • Measurable – to track your progress it needs to be measurable. If your goal is to drink or eat less, then the measurement would be units of alcohol or calories.
  • Achievable – be honest about where you’re at now and where you want to be. Change is a process so don’t be afraid to set milestones that represent progress along the way. 
  • Relevant – Make sure your challenge is meaningful and will have a positive impact on you and those around you. Goals set on a whim are the most likely to fail.
  • Time-bound – Open-ended deadlines are no good for motivation. Setting an end to your goal will give you a clear objective and a sense of progress. You can always set another challenge once you've nailed this one

Set Milestones

Let’s think of your resolution in hiking terms. You can’t tackle a long trail in one stint. You need to break it up into sections and have periods of rest and reward along the way. When your motivation takes a dip and your end goal feels far from reach, milestones will give you something much closer to work towards. Breaking your challenge down this way will make it more manageable. How you reward yourself is up to you!

Track your progress

Tracking your daily progress is rewarding and motivating in equal measure. It helps you realise how well you’re doing and can act as a deterrent when the temptation to give up or have a day off comes along. For common resolutions such as activity or diet-based ones, there are helpful apps such as Strava and MyFitnessPal that are designed to help you track your performance data. If you’re old school, keep a journal and fill it in each day.

Keep a reminder of why you’re doing it

Motivation is sky-high at the start of any challenge, but when times get tough you need to remember why you set off on this journey. Think of who your resolution will impact and how. If you’re keeping a journal, perhaps write down your motivation at the start for your future self to refer back to.

Team up

Setting a New Year’s Resolution is a lot like climbing a mountain. It’s easier and often more enjoyable to do it with a friend. Buddying up supercharges your chances of success due to the dopamine rush you get from being social and working with a friend3. It also gives you a sense of responsibility to keep going for their benefit even when you don’t feel like it yourself. When choosing your buddy, try and pick someone who you think will match your enthusiasm and determination.


Adam is a lover of the outdoors who’s recently moved back to rural Lancashire after living in the urban confines of Leeds for the past few years. His favourite pastimes include cooking, playing countless sports to a barely acceptable standard and exploring the local countryside with his dog, Chip.

When the weather gets in the way, Adam can be found at home watching films & TV and listening to music. If he’s not there, he’ll be in the pub down the road.