01/01/2013 18:44 GMT | Updated 02/03/2013 05:12 GMT

Making the Perfect New Year's Resolutions and Achieving Them

It's the beginning of a new year and along with a sky full of fireworks; it's time to set your New Year's resolutions for the year to come. Whether losing weight or spending more time volunteering, it's a great time to set targets for the year ahead - the only problem is sticking to them. To help out, I've compiled a list of my top five tips to help in achieving your goals and making sure they don't fizzle out by spring.


Step by step

It's tempting to set yourself 20 resolutions and try to commit to them all at once, but this will inevitably cause you to drop lots along the way. Some people advise only to have one resolution, but I think it's better to have a few - as long as you spread them out. I usually try to rank mine in order, so the first few I'll start in January and the others can come in when my initials goals are either achieved or well on track. To go a step further, you could section them into personal, business and family - this way you can make achievements in a broad range of areas. It's called a New Year's resolution, not a New Month's - so there's plenty of time to fulfil them.

On target

It's all fine to set targets such as 'losing weight' or 'spending less on clothes', but these are hard to achieve if there's no goal in sight. If you're focusing on fitness, aim to walk to work one day a week instead of getting the bus. If you are wanting to spend less, aim to save £50 each month, or even set another target of saving enough money for holiday. The more specific the goal, the more easily you can assess your success and adding a reward will make you work that bit harder.

Keep the fun

As tempting as it is to focus on all you do that's bad, resolutions should also be used to focus on the good. If you want to take up the piano, go to karaoke more often or be more adventurous with your hair - add them in. You want to have fun in the new year, so add the things you've always wanted to do, but just not got around to yet. Look forward to the year ahead and enjoy what you do.

Friends with benefits

Get family and friends involved too, as this makes your success rate much more likely. There's a good chance that there will be a few people you know that want to go to the gym more or quit smoking, so join together and support one another. By helping each other out you'll be able to compare progress, keep on track, and most importantly, be there for each other when you have to walk past a bakery without going in.

Good in sight

Remind yourself of your goals by writing them on a white board, sticking them to the fridge or saving them as your desktop background. The more you see it, the more it becomes part of your daily routine and the simpler it will be to complete.