Make your New Year’s resolutions stick

Tips and advice to get to a happier, healthier you in 2024

Clinically reviewed by Bryony Rhodes-Wort, written by Imogen Comrie on 18/12/2023

As the new year approaches, the air is charged with anticipation and the promise of new beginnings. For many, this means setting resolutions.

From getting fit to eating well, studies show that we in the UK will likely try to be healthier this January.

The science behind making resolutions stick goes beyond a mere declaration, and it’s so easy to drop a resolution or two as the realities of life get in the way.

To help you make 2024 the year you keep your resolutions, this article explores some practical strategies and shows how Simplyhealth can be your partner in achieving lasting health goals into the new year and beyond.

Two women walking their dogs along a countryside path in the winter

Fitness and exercise

Statista and YouGov data consistently reveal that ‘getting fit’ and ‘losing weight’ are the most popular New Year's resolutions. While sounding simple, these resolutions are extremely broad and might overwhelm you about where to start or what progress looks like.

A proven way to stick to your resolutions is to break your big goals into smaller, more achievable ones. For example, if your long-term goal is to lose weight, your short-term goals could be joining a gym and going twice a week in January, increasing to three times a week in February.

No gym membership? You could cycle to work once a week, incorporate longer walks into your routine, or even create a fitness schedule for yourself by using YouTube videos or a free training apps, like Nike Training (Android, iOS)

Simplyhealth member rewards

From discounted gym membership and fitness trackers to money off spa breaks and experience days, there’s something for everyone.

Wearable tech is a great way to stay motivated and accountable, with alerts on your watch telling you to get up and move after a period of stillness.

Seeing how much activity you’ve done over a week can feel amazing, and you can challenge yourself to increase every week.

Health, diet, and alcohol

According to YouGov "40% of resolutions are health-related." If yours are, too, smaller goals throughout the year will help you stick to your plan.

You could find a healthy-eating buddy to keep you on track at home or work. You’re more likely to stick to resolutions if framed positively.

So, if you want to eat healthier, add more vegetables and pulses to your meals rather than focusing on what you can’t have.

If you want to drink less alcohol, why not try introducing hangover-free days, where you know you’ll get to enjoy a morning with a clear head!

Why quit smoking?

According to NHS England, you’ll begin to feel better in just a few days as your lung function begins to improve e.g. being less out of breath at the top of the stairs.

Within just 3-9 months your lung function will increase by 10%, and after a year, the risk of heart disease is halved compared to someone who is still smoking.

Quit smoking

The benefits of quitting are enormous. If you want 2024 to be the year you go smoke-free, try these top tips:

  • You need to be ready to change. 
  • Write down all the positive ways your life will change when you quit, and look at it if you’re having a wobble.
  • Can you go cold turkey, or do you need a plan that takes a few months?
  • Find your support network, whether that’s from friends, a therapist, or even with free NHS quit smoking app (Android, iOS)

Counselling and advice 24/7

Health plan members can access a range of support, including access to our partner Health Assured’s Wisdom app - designed to help you keep track of your wellbeing and goals.

Self-improvement: a happier you

Resolutions focused on self-improvement, like saving money or advancing a career, are close behind health-related ones. Go you!

Behavioural science tells us that clear goals are ten times more likely to be achieved, so if you need help to make sense of things and determine what actions you need to take, talking about your objectives with a counsellor can be helpful.

Simplyhealth's partnership with Health Assured offers members counselling and advice covering everything from career decisions to financial management and navigating life changes like separation and loss.

A photo of two ladies enjoying an indoor exercise class

Tips from behavioural science for resolutions that stick

  • Make it personal - effective resolutions align with personal values by tapping into what you genuinely care about. Whether it's wellbeing, longevity, or personal growth, connecting resolutions to core values increases your chance of success.
  • Find your community - joining fitness classes or participating in group health challenges provides support and reinforcement, making the journey more enjoyable.
  • Celebrate small wins and progress - positive reinforcement encourages the desired behaviour. It's not just about the end goal; it's about the journey.
  • Know your triggers - using positive reinforcement, and being aware of factors that might cause wobbles are crucial steps in your journey.

Interested in the Wisdom app?

Health Assured’s Wisdom app helps you track your wellness, improve your mental health, and stay resilient during tough times. You’ll need your policy number to register for access to the Wisdom app - you can find account information by logging in or using the SimplyPlan app.

Reviewed by Bryony Rhodes-Wort

Written by Imogen Comrie

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