New Year's resolutions: Fitness, smoking (giving up) or saving money | Poll

REFLECT: The end of the year presents a great opportunity to take stock of what you've achieved over the past 12 months and make plans for the year ahead.
REFLECT: The end of the year presents a great opportunity to take stock of what you've achieved over the past 12 months and make plans for the year ahead.

ALTHOUGH it can be done any time, the end of the year presents a great opportunity to take stock of what you've achieved over the past 12 months and make plans for the year ahead.

However, by around February, a great number of people (some studies say 80 per cent or more) will have already abandoned any resolutions they made for the new year.

Often the issue is the resolutions themselves - goals which are too vague or lofty to achieve. Many people put undue pressure on themselves to change ingrained habits almost overnight.

Goals are easier to reach when they are SMART - you may have seen the acronym before.

It stands for specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound.

Instead of telling yourself you are going to "eat better" in the new year, a SMART goal would be to say you will "eat at least three well-balanced meals a week".

POLL: Story continues below

Something that often gets overlooked though is creating goals which aren't necessarily focused solely on the end result. After all, life is about the journey and this should be reflected in your resolutions and goals.

By choosing activities in which we can enjoy not only the end result (if there is one) but also the process is likely to lead to far greater success.

So instead of focusing on eating better in order to lose a certain number of kilos or to fit a certain item of clothing, choose instead to appreciate that each day you are making healthy choices which result in more energy and vitality every day.

Here's our pick of feel good and good-for-you resolutions to try in the new year.

Chill out and meditate: There are so many great apps out there now to help beginners with meditation, many of them free. Meditation can feel like it's a little tricky to get the hang of, but the mental health benefits of doing even five minutes a day are enormous.

Put more vegetables on your plate: Instead of making your food resolutions negative (I'll eat less sugar, I won't have carbs), try the positive approach. Adding more vegetables to your meals will help curb those cravings and provide greater nutrition.

Embrace incidental movement: Sitting is the new smoking, but let's face it exercise can be hard. That's where incidental movement comes into play. This means taking advantage of opportunities to move more in every day life - take the stairs over the lift, or walk to the shop instead of driving.

Practice good sleep hygiene: Most people need more sleep. It's not just the number of hours though, it's the quality of the sleep which is important. Creating a sleep ritual can help - a warm bath prior, switching off electronics, lighting a candle - these can all aid decent snoozing.

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This story How to make a New Year's resolution that you'll stick to first appeared on Daily Liberal.