How to stick to your New Year’s resolutions

Made a list, checked it twice, but still feeling daunted by those 2023 resolutions? Allow advice columnist Nectarine Girl to help.

New Year, new time to draw up a concise list of ways in which to better themselves. Of course, most people are unlikely to keep many of their resolutions beyond Shrove Tuesday. But this year, why not make it one of our resolutions to try and, well, stick to them?

One of my personal promises to myself in 2023 is to laminate things more. I got off to a flying start by laminating my list of resolutions, thus lending clarity and permanence to the list itself, while already ticking a resolution off. So, armed with printed pledges that I laminated at work and Blu Tacked all over my flat, I am officially in the zone. While brushing my teeth, I’m constantly reminded to TRAIN FOR A TRIATHLON, among other things, in bright pink Comic Sans font. Not bad for motivation, eh?

Another one of my 2023 goals is to finally sort out a persistent itch I’ve got on my right foot. I’ve never plucked up the courage to go to the GP for this; after a pandemic, it just didn’t seem like a priority. But mark my words: this is the year. Now, every scratch is just another reminder to book an appointment I know will be life-changing. Not to mention said itch is just one on a long list of mundane medical tasks I’m yet to deal with. One ailment per year, though.

A sure-fire way to feeling like you’ve achieved something is to set resolutions that can’t be definitively measured. For example, in 2022, I endeavoured to be the nicest person ever’ ”

Start saving” is a classic resolution, isn’t it? I like to make this extremely hard for myself by also adding Buy a Louis Vuitton handbag” onto the list. I did make a step in the right direction last January, by downloading one of those budgeting apps you see advertised on public transport. I forgot to cancel my free subscription and ended up paying £4.99 a month for it. The irony!

Of course, you could sack off resolutions completely and do what my best friend does; she writes a New Year’s bucket list instead. Her top task for 2021 was finally get drunk purely off of Smirnoff Ice”. I can assure you she completed this and never repeated it. Still, it was a lot more fun than Try to lose 20 pounds”, which no one should ever do. I don’t encourage excessive drinking, either, but if you’re struggling to give that up, Lent’s just around the corner.

A sure-fire way to end 2023 feeling like you’ve achieved something positive is to set resolutions that can’t be definitively measured. For example, in 2022, I endeavoured to be the nicest person ever”. It’s similar to how I thought about the creative writing section of my English GCSE exams. How can you possibly mark that? It’s far too subjective. My dad said he thought I was the nicest person ever. I’ll take it. If only he’d been marking my coursework, too.

Another suggestion is to host a resolutions party. The idea: to draw names from a hat and give each person an objective to aim towards. This could get a little personal and end in tears, but it’s worth a go. I’m not sure suggesting my friend should clean up more regularly” while sitting in her lounge would go down too well.

Either way, my best advice to you is to chuck some fun resolutions to your list for light relief. They can’t all be gruelling, otherwise you definitely won’t stick to them. In case you’re interested, I’ve enclosed my Nectarine 2023 resolutions below. Find me watching EastEnders while perched on my exercise bike with a glowing tan for the foreseeable.

1. Laminate things more (done)

2. Use exercise bike

3. Actually learn how to save money (and buy a Louis Vuitton handbag)

4. Watch more EastEnders

5. Train for a triathlon

6. Eat more spinach

7. Sort the itch out

8. Be famous

9. Floss

10. Use sunbeds weekly

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