January 11th 2024

Achieving New Year’s Resolutions

The New Year means a fresh start and is a great opportunity for change, however achieving our New Year’s Resolutions is not guaranteed. This Image.ie reader has got in touch to ask for advice on sticking to their goals to be fitter, healthier and practice more self-care. Each year starts full of enthusiasm, but by the end of January motivation has fizzled out. Prof Robert Kelly gives his top tips on setting yourself up for success.

Prof Robert Kelly is a Consultant Cardiologist and Lifestyle Medicine Physician at Beacon Hospital. He uses Lifestyle Medicine practices to improve health and reach physical and mental health goals.

While addressing this particular reader’s concerns, Prof Kelly emphasizes the importance of focusing on key pillars for better health in the New Year. Key Pillars include:

  • Healthier Eating
  • Exercise and Physical Activity
  • Improving sleep quality
  • Reducing / eliminating chronic stress
  • Spending more time with family and friends.
  • Stopping smoking, drug misuse and reducing alcohol intake


Creating Achievable Steps


The first step is to identify specific behaviours to address within these pillars, and focus on one or two initially. Behaviours within these pillars might include drinking more water, or walking more.

Prof Kelly also advises on acknowledging that motivation will fluctuate, so having a plan to deal with drops in motivation is crucial. He advises starting with manageable goals and emphasizes the significance of motivation, ability, and triggers to establish and maintain these new habits.

Prof Kelly recommends establishing triggers and prompts to carry out behaviours as they help in remembering and reinforcing new behaviours. For example, if one of your goals is to drink more water, one of your triggers might be to have a glass of water before you sit down for breakfast.

Successful prompts are a daily action, like getting out of bed.

Following the Law of Compounding, starting small and gradually increasing behaviours forms lasting habits and achievable goals! Prof Kelly encourages to taking small, consistent steps each day to build a foundation for a healthier 2024.

Prof Kelly’s full piece and advice on succeeding with New Year’s Resolutions can be read here.