After the festivities of Christmas and the parties to see in 2017, January can be a bit of a let down. With grey skies and dreary weather, it’s little wonder that many of us get a case of the ‘mean reds’ as Holly Golightly, one of my favourite literary characters, would say. As if this wasn’t enough to contend with, we then throw in the added pressure of New Year resolutions.

I read an interesting article recently which said that only 8% of us manage to maintain our well intentioned resolutions beyond February. Before you get too disheartened and throw in the towel, there was a glimmer of hope. The key to being in that magical 8% is to think carefully before setting your intentions for the year. Too many fail as they are simply unrealistic or too nebulous. Setting out to ‘be a better person’; ‘be happier’ or aiming to ‘run a marathon’ when your only experience of running is to catch a bus are, on balance, not the wisest of choices.

Instead, following a few simple rules boosts your chance of success so, here you go!

Top tips for success;

  • Be realistic. Small steps towards your ultimate goal are far more likely to be successful. Remember, a journey starts with a single step!
  • Be specific.
  • Tell family and friends to enlist their support.
  • Set milestones along the way and celebrate success!
  • Don’t give up. If you experience a set back, start afresh with renewed vigour.

And for me? I have made the same resolution for the past few years and, on the whole, I’ve managed to keep it. Every night, before I go to sleep, I recall 3 things that I’m grateful for. Sounds easy? Believe me, I too have days when 3 good things can seem a challenge! But, that’s why I do it. Even on a bad day, there’ll be something which I should give thanks for. Having just come back from a wonderful trip to Mexico where I was welcomed with such warmth, openness and genuine hospitality, my gratitude cup currently runneth over. I’m going to hold these memories in my heart and recall them when the grey days of January threaten to overwhelm me.

Whatever your intentions for 2017, I wish you peace, health and happiness (and good luck at being in that 8% come February!)