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How To Keep Your New Year Resolutions Going All Year
Health and beauty
February 2024
Reading time 5 Minutes

Don't let 2024 be a repeat of 2023. Living North columnist Dr Maurice Duffy explains how you can keep the momentum of your new year's resolutions going now January's well and truly behind us

By the time January becomes February, 90 percent of us have already dropped all our new year's resolutions, so follow our expert advice to help you stick to them this year.

You scare me because 2024 will be a repeat of 2023 for most people, which was a repeat of 2022, which was a repeat of… You scare me because as you walk through 2024 you will be full of aspirations for change yet again, but guess what? 2025 will probably see you repeating 2024 and so on. Why? Because by the time January becomes February, 90 percent of us will have dropped all our new year’s resolutions just as we did in January 2023, and every year before that.

One of the big aspirations many people ask me about is how to achieve a better work-life balance. When I ask people about their current work-life balance there is always a contradiction. Over 50 percent don’t think they need to sacrifice the ‘life’ part to get ahead at work and yet only 20 percent rated their work-life balance as great.
People always tell me they are struggling to do this or to do that. Yet work is part of life and life is part of work. The phrase ‘work-life balance’ gives us the impression that the two are separate things. Inside each of us we have our CEO persona, our partner persona, our mother or father persona, our child persona, and they are all different parts of you. Most people think they must turn them on or off like a switch. But that just isn’t true. When you focus on integrating work with life, instead of treating life like a zero-sum game, you’ll gain the triumph you seek.

Meet Sarah, a determined entrepreneur whose journey epitomises the power of mindset and resolution. Amidst the hustle of a burgeoning business, Sarah made a resolution at the start of 2023 – a deliberate step towards attaining a work-life integration. It wasn’t a generic promise to work less; instead, Sarah set a specific goal: dedicating two evenings a week to family time. This commitment, rooted in her growth mindset, demanded restructuring her work hours and setting clear boundaries. Each week, amidst deadlines and pressures, Sarah devoted these evenings solely to her family, relishing the joys of connection and shared moments. As a result, the end of the year and beyond looks very different in terms of balance compared to how it began, and all because Sarah approached her resolution in the right way.

Whatever your resolutions are for 2024, in order to maintain the momentum beyond the month of January like Sarah successfully did, there are some important things to consider and reflect upon.

Read More: How to Embrace Change in Your Life

Foundations for Integrating Work and Life

Growth Mindset: Committing to continuous growth through resilience and perseverance, embracing challenges as catalysts for advancement, is a cornerstone of personal evolution. It’s about viewing setbacks as opportunities and persisting despite hurdles.

Beginner’s Mindset: Embracing curiosity and adaptability, navigating each endeavour with a fresh perspective untainted by preconceptions, opens doors to innovation and learning.

Positive Mindset: Cultivating an optimistic outlook that navigates adversities with resilience and a solution-oriented approach fuels motivation and enhances overall well-being.

Embracing Practical Strategies

Refining Personal Aspirations: Sarah’s dedication to family time illustrates the power of specificity in goal-setting. The problem with not having a goal is you spend all your time running up and down the pitch but you never score. Acknowledging past setbacks as opportunities for growth fuels momentum towards success. Identify personal goals aligned with professional ambitions, ensuring clarity and measurability. Whether it’s learning a new skill, nurturing relationships or improving health, setting achievable objectives empowers focused progress.

Infusing Positivity and Authenticity: Don’t let people with dirty shoes walk through your brain. Building an environment rooted in authenticity and positivity attracts opportunities aligned with personal values. Surround yourself with individuals who uplift and support your journey while fostering positivity in your interactions. Authenticity breeds trust and fosters deeper connections, crucial in a fulfilling journey towards personal growth.

Digital Presence and Self-Care Prioritisation: Don’t go through life, grow through life – because when we stop growing, we stop living and start existing. We cannot ignore the world. Curating an authentic online persona and prioritising self-care routines are integral pillars of personal growth. Embrace digital platforms to amplify your authentic voice while carving out time for self-nurturing activities, fostering a balanced lifestyle. Investing in self-care fortifies your mental and emotional well-being, enabling you to tackle challenges with vigour.

Adaptability and Growth Strategies: Navigating change with adaptability fosters resilience, an indispensable trait on the path to personal evolution. Embrace change as an opportunity for growth, nurturing a mindset that thrives in dynamic environments. Being adaptable allows for nimble responses to challenges, driving innovation and progress.

Read More: How Overthinking Can Limit Your Success (and What You Can Do About It)

Crafting Enduring Resolutions

Resolutions often falter due to vague promises. Ensure they’re SMART: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely. Outline a plan that includes milestones and achievable targets while remaining adaptable to unforeseen circumstances. It’s about creating a roadmap that guides your actions and propels you closer to your aspirations.

Plotting Success Strategies

Crafting a detailed action plan is as crucial as defining the goals themselves. This plan serves as a navigational chart on the journey towards aspirations. Break down long-term goals into manageable steps, fostering a sense of progress and accomplishment. Regularly reassess and adjust your plan as needed, staying agile in pursuit of your objectives.

Embodying Commitment and Fortitude

Resilient commitment and an unwavering pursuit of one’s vision pave the path to triumph. Embrace setbacks as learning opportunities, fostering resilience and perseverance in the face of adversity. Dedication and consistency in efforts propel you towards success, irrespective of the obstacles encountered along the way.

Sarah’s journey mirrors the essence of our aspirations as we step into the New Year. It’s a call to lay the groundwork for success, refine our resolutions, and script a year marked by steadfast commitment and unrestrained growth.

Dr Maurice Duffy is Visiting Professor at Sunderland, consulting coach to the NHS, the Australian cricket team, Durham Cricket Club, international golfers, rugby and many sports people, and also coaches many senior FTSE 100 business leaders and politicians around the world. Find out more at or follow him on X @drmauriceduffy.

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