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How to stick to New Year’s Resolutions in February

Life coach Nick Hatter reveals the key to sticking to your New Year’s resolutions

Carina Bartle
By Carina Bartle, VP Sales & Partnerships

Quick question (asked with no judgement). What's the longest you've kept a New Year's resolution? More than a month? In the UK, an average of 40% of New Year’s resolutions last for less than that. And it's not hard to see why. New Year's resolutions thrive on well-intentioned enthusiasm and usually one too many Christmas treats. Come Blue Monday, things have changed.

But knowing what we know about making and sticking to goals, it might be important for you to take your resolution past 31st January. In his new book,, life coach Nick Hatter, reveals where so many people go wrong, and how a change of mindset can be the key to success.

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Why is it hard to stick to New Year's resolutions?

After so many years of attempting to start new habits with the intention of revolutionising the way you live, you may be asking yourself why, so often, do New Year’s resolutions fail? According to Nick, people approach New Year’s resolutions in the wrong way, often trying to fit them into their current daily routine. They quickly find there isn’t a good time to implement them and consequently disregard them before they have even begun. Instead of finding the time (as we inevitably always try to convince ourselves we will) “we must actively create it. Instead of prioritising your schedule, you must schedule your priorities.” By structuring our schedules around our goals, as opposed to inserting our goals into our current schedules, we are far more likely to maintain the resolutions we set ourselves.

Many of our resolutions tend to be corrections to our current bad habits. For instance, the goal to exercise more is a correction to coming home from work and watching TV all evening; saving more money, is a correction to perhaps purchasing a few unnecessary things every week.


Instead of prioritising your schedule, you must schedule your priorities.

What we often undermine and fail to acknowledge is that bad habits can very often be addictions. An addiction can be viewed as repeating a behaviour because it provides relief despite negative consequences. They're also difficult to change!

By adjusting our approach to bad habits, and by understanding them as addictions, our expectation for fast results can become more realistic. More realistic expectations will see you sticking to things longer as that feeling of disappointment and hopelessness is significantly diminished.

How to stick to New Year’s resolutions

Understanding why it's so hard to keep New Year’s resolutions, the next step to success is learning how to stick to them. With resolutions ranging from diet changes to progressing in your career, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer to achieving your goals. However, most life changes are more down to attitude and the mentality with which you approach them, not the achievability of the goal. After all, almost every goal is achievable without the troublesome trio: procrastination, self-doubt and lack of organisation. Small incremental changes may be the approach for you.

The popular idea of "New Year, new me" can create motivation. It can also be unrealistic and unsustainable in the long run. We sometimes believe that despite little to no exercise in the past year, we will suddenly be able to work out 5 times a week, and hey, why not? Anything's possible on December 31st.

The problem when making resolutions for big, life-altering changes rather than smaller ones is that they quickly become unapproachable and daunting. We procrastinate because how can we fail something we don't start? Never starting in the first place somehow feels less of a failure than attempting them and falling short.

Instead of continuing this cycle again this year (and if you already have it’s not too late), consider small incremental changes to achieve the same end goal further down the line. For instance, deciding to exercise a very-doable once a week to begin with and slowly increasing that number as the weeks go on, when your body is craving even more endorphins, is a far more sustainable approach. Smaller changes are far more likely to become life-long habits than sudden, drastic ones.

Change your mindset. As Nick discusses, “taking responsibility for changing our lives and our mindset is crucial for bringing about change, lest we develop ‘learned helplessness’, where we believe that nothing we do will make a difference and that we are stuck where we are forever.” In fact, he reveals that we need to take personal responsibility for these changes, look around us and ask ourselves key questions of self-discovery that will allow us to unlock our potential.

New Year Sleep Resolutions

Many of us feel that the ability to sleep easily and for long periods of time is more of an inbuilt trait than a skill that can be learnt. And, whilst some people do find it far easier to nod off than others, you can be taught how to get a good night’s sleep if you are willing to change your routine.

Those who have chosen to fix sleep patterns this year will be pleased to know that it may have far more of an effect on your life than just increasing your energy levels. Nick believes mastering sleep is a key building block for a better life. “If there was just one piece of advice I could give that would change your life, it would be this: sleep more," he says, "Adequate sleep is a fundamental human need and is essential for peak performance and mental health.” Revealing that even moderate sleep deprivation leads to cognitive impairment, Nick emphasises that “sleep is absolutely vital for peak cognitive and physical condition.”

With this in mind Nick offers 8 crucial tips on how to sleep better:

  1. Avoid caffeine after midday
  2. Make sure to get some form of exercise in during the day 
  3. Play relaxing music 
  4. Avoid digital stimulation before bed
  5. A cool, dark and quiet room will optimise sleep 
  6. Don’t go to bed worried, try to address them during the day 
  7. Don’t exercise too close to bedtime 
  8. Give guided meditation or relaxation a go before nodding off
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Fitness Resolutions for the New Year

With everyone keen to kick-start the year after a season of indulgence, New Year’s fitness resolutions are by far the most popular. Whether you’re looking to get to the gym more, start a new sport or to attend your favourite class once a week, fitness is always great for the mind and body.

But if you've found yourself setting fitness goals each year and so far have only stuck to them for a few months, Nick wants you to reflect on the way you have approached fitness resolutions in the past. He asks, “Instead of telling yourself, ‘I don’t have time to exercise’, try reframing it to ‘I choose not to prioritise my mental and physical health’ and ask yourself, Is this really true? Is making money really more important than your sanity?”

Once you have prioritised your workout time “find something that gets you physically active. Remember that you don’t have to be an Olympic athlete. Give yourself permission to be bad at it. As long as you enjoy it and it gets you active, that’s all that matters.”

Allow yourself to get excited by exercise. You don't have to choose a form of fitness that you dread. And if your current gym doesn’t inspire you to visit then why not take a look at our list of the best gyms to join in London, or consider making your own setup at home. Inspiration comes in many forms and if good design is what it takes to motivate you, that can't be a bad thing.

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