Achieving New Year’s Resolutions

Just discovered Derren Brown is blogging and twittering. One of the things he reblogged was a link to achieve your New Year’s Resolutions.

  1. Make only one resolution – Many people make the mistake of trying to achieve too much
  2. Plan ahead – Don’t wait until New Year’s Eve to think about your resolution
  3. Avoid previous resolutions – Deciding to re-visit a past resolution sets you up for frustration and disappointment
  4. Be specific – Think through exactly what you are going to do, where you are going to do it, and at what time
  5. Set S.M.A.R.T goals – Focus on creating goals that are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time based (SMART).
  6. Carrot not stick – Focus on how much better life will be for you, and those around you, when you achieve your resolution
  7. Go public – Many people keep their New Year’s resolution to themselves.
  8. Be persistent – New habits take time to learn, and once in a while you will slip up and revert to the old you.
  9. Visualise – Visualise yourself doing whatever it takes to achieve you resolution as this will help you believe you can do it and see it through.
  10. Be positive – It is better to think about the good things that will flow from a healthier lifestyle than the bad things that will result from an unhealthy one.

So looking at these recommendations, I’ve pretty much failed on every point except number 7, a bit of 6, 9 and 10.

7. Go Public – Many people keep their New year’s resolution to themselves. Unfortunately, this makes it all too easy to simply forget about them. Instead, go public. For example, write down your resolution on a large sheet of paper, sign it, and place it somewhere prominent in your house. Tell your friends, family and colleagues about your resolution, and ask them to provide you with helpful nudges to assist you in achieving your goal. Either way, do not keep your resolution to yourself.

Author: Ianforrester

Senior firestarter at BBC R&D, emergent technology expert and serial social geek event organiser. Can be found at, and