5 tips for setting effective New Year's resolutions

At new year, it can be fun to set goals or resolutions for the year ahead. Like for many people, having goals certainly helps give me a bit of direction.

But what is the best way to set New Year's resolutions? How do you do it effectively? Well, here are five tips from my experience on how to create effective New Year's resolutions / goals.

If you'd prefer a video on these tips, check out my YouTube video (also embedded below if you scroll down!)

1) Set your goals with your values at heart

I used to set resolutions as sort of 'targets' or 'things to achieve', but more recently I've been basing my plan for the year around my values. For example, I value having supportive relationships and work which is creative. Think about what you value in life and build your actions around that. What can you do more/less of to improve your relationships, or to weave more creativity into your job? This approach is more sustainable and less likely to change long-term than an arbitrary set of targets.

2) Structure your goals or values around the different areas of your life

It can feel overwhelming to start with a blank page and try to come up with values, goals or resolutions that are meaningful. Dividing the page up into different 'life areas' can therefore help to add focus. I use the categories of 'wellness', 'relationships', 'work', 'society and the environment' and 'my physical environment'. Once I have my life areas, I set a value or two within each one, which then helps me look ahead to what actions I need to take.

3) Set your goals like no one is watching

I try to ensure that the motivation behind my goals comes from the right place. Ask yourself: "What's behind this resolution?" Is it, for example, external pressures and competition, or love and curiosity?⁠ Because, in my opinion, the latter type of motivation will most likely serve you better in the long-run. Ensure your goals come from a positive place of self-respect, rather than for validation/recognition from external sources.


People are motivated to try yoga for all sorts of reasons, but often these come from a positive place. Whether it's to boost strength, general wellbeing, or for rehabilitation, it's generally a motivation coming from self-respect. As a teacher, I hope to support each individual to make good on whatever their motivation is/was.⁠

4) Allow your goals to be flexible over time

Things change over time, and they can change quite quickly. Therefore, a goal you set in January might not apply in June. Set quarterly (or however frequent) review points throughout the year to allow yourself to look back on the goals you set yourself and adapt or change them. Be realistic based on your ever-changing circumstances, and be kind to yourself. I think this helps us to achieve what we truly want.

5) Don't overwhelm yourself!

Having a million-and-one goals can be overwhelming and can set anyone up for disappointment. I set a couple of things to work on under each of my values, and that's it. And I usually add and/or delete some when I review them after a few months.

Happy New Year! Let me know your resolutions, and your tips for setting them, in the comments below!

If you and/or a friend are thinking of starting yoga in 2021, email me for 50% off your first lesson. Applies to private, open, face-to-face and online classes.

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