AROUND half of all Australians make a resolution each year as part of the New Year’s ritual. But it seems only 12 percent manage to keep them. So why do so many of us fail?
One reason may be we simply make too many. Picking just one resolution and planning how you’ll get there could improve your odds of sticking with your goal throughout the year.
Another common mistake is making resolutions too general. Instead, aim for goals that are realistic, attainable and measurable. Then prepare and plan the steps necessary to get you there. This’ll help give you the confidence you need to keep your resolution despite the odd slip-up.
Follow these 5 tips to boost your chance of success:
Here are our top 10 resolutions with tips for staying on track:
1) LOSE EXCESS WEIGHT
Three in five Australian adults are overweight or obese according to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, so it’s not surprising this is a popular resolution. To help reach and maintain a healthy weight for you, experts advise:
2) EXERCISE MORE
It’s recommended adults get active for at least 30 minutes on most days, preferably every day. This could include moderate-intensity exercise such as walking, cycling or swimming as well as more vigorous-intensity exercise such as jogging or a boxing class. The Australian Department of Health offers the following tips:
3) STOP SMOKING
Within two weeks of quitting smoking, your heart disease risk begins to reduce and after one year, that risk is halved when compared to a continuing smoker. But different people respond to different methods of quitting, so find the method that works best for you. These might include one or more of the following:
4) DRINK LESS ALCOHOL
It’s recommended men and women drink no more than two standard drinks a day and no more than four standard drinks on a single occasion to reduce their risk of alcohol-related injury. If you want to cut down, try:
5) EAT BETTER
Most people know what they have to do to eat better but find it challenging to stick with healthy eating all the time. Instead, try to eat well most of the time. These smaller steps to a better diet may help:
6) SPEND MORE TIME WITH FAMILY
Easier said than done, making time for family and friends can be challenging in our modern society. Try some of these tips:
7) ACHIEVE A BETTER WORK-LIFE BALANCE
Trying to prevent your work life blurring into your home life is a modern day reality. While more Australians are working from home, turning off the email during dinner or rejecting a work call when out with the family can still be a challenge. If you feel you haven’t got the balance right, here are some suggestions:
8) GET ORGANISED
It feels great to be organised. Whether it’s de-cluttering your home, organising your paperwork or planning a budget, start with a list then break down your chores into do-able stages. Here are some simple tasks to get you started:
9) LEARN SOMETHING NEW
Research shows any activity that involves thinking and learning may benefit your brain health and help protect against dementia. Alzheimer’s Australia recommend a variety of mentally-stimulating activities such as doing a course, learning an instrument or language, or doing jigsaw puzzles and crosswords.
10) HELP OTHERS
More than six million Australians volunteer in some capacity each year. According to Volunteering Australia, most people say they do it to make a difference or because it gives them a sense of purpose. How can you get involved? Contact www.volunteeringaustralia.org to find an opportunity near you.
I Can Quit
Alzheimer’s Australia. Exercise your brain. [online] Available from:
Australian Government Department of Health. Alcohol. [online] Available from:
Australian Government Department of Health. Physical activity guidelines. [online] Available from:
Cancer Institute NSW. Discover the health benefits of quitting smoking. [online] Available from:
Grant A. New Year –New You? The Science of New Years’ Resolutions. [online] 2010. [Accessed 12 Dec 2013] Available from:
Volunteering Australia. The latest picture of volunteering in Australia. [online] Available from:
Last published: 31 December 2013
This information has been developed and reviewed for Bupa by health professionals. To the best of their knowledge it is current and based on reputable sources of medical research. It should be used as a guide only and should not be relied upon as a substitute for professional medical or other health professional advice.
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