7 tips for sticking to your new year’s resolution

March 01, 2021

‘New year, new me,’ goes the common saying. The start of a new year is often seen as a time to reinvent yourself and make plans towards goals. With 2020 causing so many setbacks and challenges, you may be thinking about setting a new year’s resolution to start 2021 on track.

While setting a new year resolution is common, less than one in ten ends up sticking to them. So, whether you want to exercise more, learn a new skill or make lifestyle changes, setting out a plan can improve your chances of success. If you want to make changes in the new year, here are seven tips to help you achieve your goal.

1. Focus on one thing

When you’re feeling motivated and want to make changes to your life, it can be tempting to make sweeping changes in one go. But good habits can be hard to form. Deciding to hit the gym three times a week, increase your savings and learn a new language on the same day can set you up for failure.

Rather than transforming your whole life, pick an area you want to focus on and work towards this goal. You can always add other aspirations once positive habits have been formed with your first resolution.

2. Be realistic, but make it a challenge

Setting a target is the first challenge of sticking to a new year’s resolution. Make it too easy and you can lose focus, but make it too difficult to achieve and you can lose motivation. You need to be able to realistically reach your goal in the space of 12 months but also ensure that the resolution will have a positive change in your life, encouraging you to keep at it.

Make sure your goal is measurable too. Rather than a vague idea like ‘I want to save more’, set a plan to save a certain amount each month.

3. Break your overall goal into smaller chunks

A new year’s resolution can be daunting when you look at it as a whole. Breaking down a wider goal into smaller segments can help you remain positive and focused throughout 2021. For instance, if you’re hoping to lose weight in the coming year, set monthly targets as well as an end-of-year goal.

It’s a process that can make even larger goals seem more manageable and reduce the chances of you giving up because the final target seems out of reach. Remember to make sure these smaller goals are realistic too.

4. Chart your progress and celebrate your successes

Keep track of your progress towards your goals too. Whether you choose a traditional pen and paper or an app, having your progress noted down can help you get through those times when you’re finding it a challenge. Looking at the hard work and progress you’ve already made can be enough to push you to keep going.

Remember to celebrate when you make progress too. If you’re working up towards running a marathon in 2021, completing that first 5k if you don’t usually run is a milestone. Planning treats for yourself when you reach certain points can help keep you on track.

5. Enlist the help of family and friends

A support system can make all the difference when we’re striving towards goals. Letting family and friends know your plans means they can help you towards your target.

If they’re also working towards the same or similar goal, having a buddy to do it with can make it far more fun and add some friendly competition into the mix. But even if this isn’t the case, loved ones can be valuable support when you feel like giving up. Sometimes, someone giving you a bit of encouragement or even tough love can be enough to boost your motivation, so you keep going.

6. Learn from the past

Have you made new year’s resolutions before? You probably have at some point. By taking some time to review why they were successful and unsuccessful, you can find a way of working that’s right for you. There’s no ‘right’ way to work towards a goal, but by understanding why you’ve given up or didn’t meet expectations in the past, you can set out a plan that matches your mindset.

7. Don’t give up when you slip up

Finally, making long-term changes is hard and good habits take time to stick. Even the most dedicated can experience a setback. Don’t let a small slip up knock you completely off track. It can be frustrating, but look at why you’ve missed a target and learn from it. Finding a way to keep going when things don’t go to plan is often the difference between success and failure.

If you’re setting financial goals this year, please get in touch. Whether you want to save more, start investing or plan your retirement, we can help you incorporate these into your financial plan to set a path for success.

What our clients say

The people we help are at the heart of what we do. Here are some of their testimonials.

I knew I needed to begin saving and planning for the future but didn’t know where to start. Stratton helped me to understand my finances and put together a savings plan that is affordable and works for me. I now have and an ISA and a pension, and whilst retirement is many years away, I have the peace of mind that I am saving for my future. I look forward to working with them for many years to come.

Martin Corrigan -

A client since 2016

I have been impressed with the advice and service provided by Stratton Wealth Management and have always found Darius to be approachable, dependable and highly professional in his approach. It is reassuring to be able to have such a high level of confidence and trust when it comes to financial advice.

Russell Jones -

A client since 2018

Many thanks indeed for your in depth report for my client Mrs H – it is most thorough and above all readable. This might sound particularly strange; however you may well gather that in my profession we see many such reports, and I often feel that if the adviser fills it with charts and graphs it evidences a level of research. In truth most of what is produced is readily obtainable from the internet.

I would like to thank you (and your organisation) for your prompt and professional attention to my requirements on behalf of my client. As a practice we shall definitely be putting Stratton Wealth Management on our “preferred supplier list".

Colin Dunstall, Donaldson Dunstall Solicitors -

A client since 2015

I would highly recommend Darius and John. I’ve used a financial adviser previously and could never get in contact with them when I needed their help. Stratton Wealth Management have been excellent from the start. They are always available to talk, and they also don’t talk in financial jargon!

Dave Rigby -

A client since 2015

Having recently transferred my financial management to Stratton Wealth Management, I have been extremely impressed with the highly professional service I have received. I feel I have been fully involved in all decision making, and the company's highly skilled advisers have shown commitment and patience in any dealings I have had with them. I have also always found them to be easily accessible for any discussion I may require.

Denise Thornton -

A client since 2019

As a business owner and father of four children, finances are usually the last thing we think about. Stratton oversees and manages our finances, both in terms of advice for my business and our personal investments. It is comforting to know that our retirement, investment and life insurance planning has been taken care of. Darius and John are always so efficient in dealing with our affairs. As someone with no real understanding of the ins and outs, it has been fantastic to have experts giving us great advice and making sure our best interests are always the top priority.

Lee and Claire Parkinson -

Clients since 2016

Darius deals with my family’s finances and is a very trusted adviser. We meet a number of times a year, but I know I can call him any time if I have any questions. He is proactive, helpful and friendly!

Jonathan Dennis -

A client since 2019

Darius has been our adviser for a number of years, and when he told us he was starting his own firm, we had no hesitation in moving with him. We had a number of areas that we needed help with, including the complexities around an employee share scheme, investments for us and our new child, in addition to our retirement planning. Darius has continually provided us with a first-rate level of service and we would highly recommend Stratton.

Eamon and Holly O’Hara -

Clients since 2017

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