no new year resolutions this year. Do this instead!

Remember 2020? Who’s going to forget it!

Do you remember how 2020 started for you? Like every New Year, people made their plans for it; by finally kicking “that” filthy habits, or discovering the “new you”, or accomplishing those long-elusive goals. In 2020, 44% of UK respondents to a survey chose to eat healthy as their New Year’s resolution.

If you had any New Year resolutions, did they happen? If not, don’t be hard on yourself. Over half of us have given up on our resolution after 6 months.

Does this mean we shouldn’t bother though? 46% of people, after 6 months, had still stuck with it. By comparison, only 4% with a similar goal but not as a resolution, were successful. So whilst resolutions don’t have a high success rate, perhaps they can increase our chances at success.

I asked four fellow coaches for their views on resolutions. Did they believe in them. I received a unanimous no. So why’s that?

Like a pet isn’t just for Christmas, resolutions aren’t just for New Year. Unless we keep our attention on them, and be persistent, we’re not going to see change.

Having a resolution is great, but that’s step 1.  To have it realised, consider what action you will need to take.  For example, wishing to feel calmer in 2021?  What are the things that cause you stress?  What helps you to feel calmer?  Create lists of these things and turn them into repeatable tasks.

I confess I’m a list-making lover! I’ve been making lists for years,  And for good reasons!

Making lists is not a new idea. Many of us use them to a greater or lesser extent. Be it for shopping lists, household tasks or a reading list. List-making isn’t just for the super-organised! Anyone can benefit from them.

Reasons Why Lists Are Great!


In keeping with the theme, here’s a list of why lists are a great idea!

  • Alleviate anxiety
    List-making can be a positive psychological process. It’s good for reinforcing personal identity and can calm the sense of inner chaos by setting our thoughts in order. This way, it is also easier to prioritise.

    If you get stressed by day-to-day tasks, you can often get a lot out of writing them down in a contained way.

  • Improve your memory
    Our memory works by association. Ever heard a song and found yourself recalling a treasured memory? Or met a stranger with a distinctive feature, reminding you of someone else you know with the same distinctive features?

    Lists serve as triggers, similarly, helping you to remember items on the list and associations.

  • Celebrate Accomplishments
    Have you done something today you’re proud of? Or perhaps not so proud of? Creating lists of these things can be helpful to set habits and goals to shape your future.

  • Crossing-off lists feel great!
    Fact! Crossing off those items can make us feel great! Research has shown the brain’s dopamine levels increase when we tick things off those lists, regardless of whether they are big or small tasks.


  • Resolutions aren’t just for New Year – however, making them then can be helpful
  • Be SMART with your goals
  • Lists are powerful, for better or worse. Your attitude towards them will make all the difference
  • Keep your balance!

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