How to achieve your New Year’s resolutions

…and just like that, another year is over and January 1st is upon us. It's always a surprise when the New Year comes around the corner so soon, wasn't it New Year only a few months ago?

For many people, it’s a time for reflection, to look back at what we’ve achieved and the challenges we’ve overcome (maybe you’ve successfully kept up with your repeat prescriptions all year). For others, it’s a time to look into the future, what goals we want to achieve, skills we want to develop, and obstacles we can tackle – hence the ever-popular New Year’s resolutions.

Whether you consciously make them or not, we all set ourselves some kind of goals for the New Year, a person we want to be, how we want to look, places we want to go and experiences we want to have. However, coming up with goals can sometimes be easier said than done.

Happy New Year

Why have a New Year’s resolution?

Setting yourself goals is an effective way to grow and evolve as a person. Succeeding at your goals is a great feeling, and if you don’t, it still helps you develop and learn. It’s healthy to always strive to reach higher places and consistently improve so that we become greater individuals.

Related Article: Mental Health Help and Coping Mechanisms

When thinking of New Year’s resolutions, it’s important to not make the classic mistakes, or setting unrealistic and unhealthy goals that will ultimately make you unhappy in the long run. We've all been there, coming up with New Year's resolutions that last no more than a week. So, in this article, we’ll help you come up with the perfect, goals for you to achieve this New Year.

Whilst this article is focused on ‘New Year’ resolutions, you don’t have to come up with your goals based on the start of a new calendar. You can set yourself resolutions whenever you want. People choose to stick to New Year’s simply because it’s associated with new beginnings. Plus the “we’re in this together” mentality can make it feel less daunting.

Hand putting out a cigarette

Mistakes people make when thinking of New Year’s resolutions

From one extreme to the other

Quite often, when we’re coming up with potential resolutions, we look at things we don’t like about ourselves and attempt to go in the complete opposite direction to fix them. For example, “I eat too much sugar so I’m going to cut out all sugar.” Or “I don’t do enough exercise so I’m going to go to the gym every day.” If you do this, you’re just setting yourself up for failure. Try thinking of something that you have the motivation to achieve when you put your mind to it. You don’t have to be cruel to yourself.

Jumping on the bandwagon

There are many resolutions out there that we hear about every single year. Lose weight, stop smoking, eat healthier, stop drinking, become veggie. Before going to the common goals, ask yourself if that is something you actually want to do, or are you just doing it because everyone else is? Doing what makes you happy should be your top most priority.

What makes a good New Year’s resolution?

Make it personal

We’ve already talked about how people often jump on the bandwagon of overused resolutions. So how do you come up something that is personal to you? Well, think about the specifics, what goals are specific to your hobbies or job, or the specific challenges you face? What’s an achievement that would mean a lot to you? Not society. When you start thinking of more personal goals, you’ll realise you get more excited over the idea of accomplishing them, and then you’ll have the motivation to conquer them once and for all!

Two ladies running

Set SMART goals

If you’re struggling to come up with resolutions, a popular way to set goals is using the SMART method.

  1. Specific
  2. Measureable
  3. Achievable
  4. Relevant
  5. Time bound


Let’s say you have the initial resolution to run more in the New Year.

  • Specific – Setting the goal to “Run more” isn’t going to cut it. How much more? How often?
  • Measureable – How far do you want to run a week? What’s the goal distance of running before having to take a break?
  • Achievable – Is there an end goal? What it is? Is it possible? With this information, you’ll know what you need to do in order to reach it.
  • Relevant – Is this goal relevant to your aspirations and dreams? Are you motivated to accomplish it? If not, go back to thinking of something that is specific to you.
  • Time bound – Give yourself a deadline! The New Year is perfect for this, simply give yourself the deadline of the following New Year. Then, when you reach it, either extend it, or set yourself something a little more challenging. We should always be striving to reach higher places.

With all this information, you have your SMART goal: "To be able to run 35km a week in 12 months’ time."

That’s a much better resolution than “Run more”, right?

New Year’s Resolutions you can actually achieve

Below, we’ve come up with some examples of New Year’s resolutions, and shown the different between the basic goals and the improved SMART goals. Try coming up with some yourself and see how you can make it a SMART goal.

Basic Goal


Swim more

Be able to swim 10 lengths in 6 months

Spend less time on my phone

Decrease my phone screen time to 1 hour a day by Valentine’s Day

Walk to work

Walk to work at least three times a week this month

Get more sleep

Get at least 7 hours of sleep

It’s been an exciting year for us at Hey Pharmacist, and we’re looking forward to see what’s to come. Remember, your pharmacy is there to help and support you in any way they can, including to help you with you New Year’s resolutions, whether it be to stop smoking, eat healthier, or stop drinking. With Hey Pharmacist, you’re able to book a service, such as a weight management service, directly to your pharmacy – it’s never been easier to get profession help to achieve your goals.