How do I keep my New Year’s resolutions?


New Year’s Eve is only a few sleeps away and some of us may be planning to carry out yet another New Year’s Resolution. As we are still in the Festive Season filled with lots of temptations at parties and holidays, it’s doubly hard to kick start a new phase of life.
But don’t feel disheartended because there is a way to get through the New Year and achieve your Resolutions.

I’ve answered the most common questions on New Year Resolutions and provided a Step by Step Guide on how to keep them!

Why do people make resolutions for the new year?
A New Year’s Resolution is a tradition whereby a person makes a pledge to change a behaviour they don’t desire in order to improve their quality of life or achieve a goal. The practice started in Ancient times when Babylonians and Romans made promises to their gods at the beginning of each year.

What is the most popular New Year’s resolutions?
According to Nielsen, the most popular New Year’s resolutions are:

Stay fit and healthy 37%
Lose weight 32%
Enjoy life to the fullest 28%
Spend less, save more 25%
Spend more time with family and friends 19%
Get Organised 18%
Will not make any resolutions 16%
Learn something new/new hobby 14%
Travel more 14%

How long does the average person keep their New Year’s resolution?
According to research, over 60% of people keep their New Year’s resolution for the first month. The most common reason for participants failing their New Years’ Resolutions was setting themselves unrealistic goals (35%),  while 33% didn’t keep track of their progress and a further 23% forgot about it. About one in 10 people claimed they made
too many resolutions. In general, 88% of those who set New Year resolutions fail even though 52% are confident of success at the beginning.  Men achieved their goal 22% more often when they engaged in goal setting while women succeeded 10%.


How do I keep my New Year’s resolutions?
Follow this step by step guide and you will find ways to keep the motivation and persistence needed to reinvigorate yourself.

1. Make your goals specific.
People proclaim, “I’m finally going to get in shape.” But what does that actually mean? Do you intend to reach a certain weight? Or
body-fat percentage? Do you want to run three miles without rest? Maybe be able to do 10 pull-ups? Use the classic goal system that makes goals
specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound (SMART).

2. Measure progress.
“If you can measure it, you can change it” is a fundamental principal of psychology. These feedback loops will be a source of motivation as you reflect on where you started and where you are. They will also help you to know
when you are hitting a plateau or slipping backward, so you can adjust your efforts.

3. Be patient.
Progress is seldom linear. Some people will see rapid gains only to hit resistance later in their efforts. For others, initial progress may be painfully slow but then they suddenly achieve rapid breakthroughs. Making lasting changes takes time.

4. Share your goals with friends and family.
Social support is critical. Yes, it takes some personal courage and vulnerability to share something that you might actually fail at, but to dramatically increase your odds of success you’ll want support from those around you. One of the most effective things you can do is to get an “accountability partner”, someone who checks in with you daily or weekly. It’s easy to break a promise to yourself, but far harder to admit it to a friend.

5. Schedule it.
Have you ever said you can’t “find the time” to do something. Nobody finds time, we choose time. We all choose to spend our time the way we do—whether that’s eating junk food or going to a spin class. Make your new goals a priority and actually schedule them into your calendar. If you have a fitness goalschedule recurring time blocks for your daily workouts. Want to declutter? Schedule time to clean out your closet or garage on your calendar. Treat these New Year Resolution’s appointments just like they were scheduled doctor appointments. You rarely reschedule your doctor, you should treat this time the same way. That which is scheduled gets done.

6. Something is better than nothing.
Are you guilty of “all or nothing” thinking? Do you ever think, “Well, I might as well get dessert since I already ate those French fries?” And then, “I blew my diet last night so I’ll just restart it next week.” The difference between doing something rather than nothing is huge. If you don’t have a full hour to workout at the gym, just decide to make it the best 20-minutes you can. If you stumble out of bed and don’t want to do 20-minutes on
the treadmill, lace up your sneakers and do five minutes (and you just might find you do another 15 minutes once the first five are out of the way). Dr. Marciano says, “Any effort towards your goal is better than no effort.”

7. Get up, when you slip up.
Legendary coach Vince Lombardi said, “It isn’t whether you get knocked down, it’s whether you get back up.” Resiliency is paramount. Don’t turn temporary failures into total meltdowns or excuses for giving up. Instead, just acknowledge the mistake and recommit to the path towards the goal.

Achieving your goals isn’t about willpower. It’s about developing the right skills, executing strategies, and having the patience that inevitably lead to success.

A Happy New Year from Adrienne and the team at Shanghai Properties.

Moving to Shanghai? Need some help finding your new home in Shanghai? Just contact Shanghai’s most experienced and trusted agent.

Adrienne Farrelly



New Year Resolutions 2015

The New Year is upon us once again, and with it, brings feelings of hope and renewal with a desire to make changes in our lives for the better. What are your New Year resolutions for 2015? What do you hope to accomplish or achieve this year?


Here are some tips to help you make it through the year with your New Year resolutions firmly by your side. First let’s start with the most common of New Year resolutions.

Here are the top 10:

  1. Lose weight
  2. Get organized
  3. Spend less, save more
  4. Enjoy life to the fullest
  5. Stay fit and Healthy
  6. Learn something exciting
  7. Quit smoking
  8. Help others in their dreams
  9. Fall in love
  10. Spend more time with family

How to achieve your goals

Goals are hard to achieve and even harder when abstract and immeasurable. Instead of wanting to “Enjoy life to the Fullest”, figure out what it exactly means to you. Is it visiting different countries, going out more or seeing your friends? If so, try to make the goal more specific such as “visit 2 countries this year”. How often do you hear “I really lived life to the fullest this year”? This was number four on the most set goals in 2014. Many successful practitioners use SMART goals for helping their clients achieve their goals.

Specific – who, what, when, where, why and how
Measurable – when will you known it is done
Attainable – is it realistic?
Relevant – How does it fit into your life now?
Time-based – When will you achieve your goal, what’s the time line?


For example, if your goal is to lose weight, be specific on how much you want to lose and how you will lose it. It must be measurable! Looking in the mirror every couple weeks and guessing your loss won’t help you stay on track.


Make sure the goal is realistic. If you weigh 600 pounds and are trying to lose 500 in a year to become a bikini model, seriously, it is not going to happen unless you amputate or choose liposuction. Ask yourself if losing weight is relevant to your life right now and is it something you are able to do? Are you really driven to lose weight?

Time based

Goals need to be time-based. You can set miniature goals every couple months, such as lose 10 pounds by March.


Make sure you tell people about your goals. Having people there to support you will increase your chances of succeeding. If your goal is to lose weight, find a workout partner. You will feel as if you are obliged to show up, otherwise you will be letting someone down. If your goal is to help others, commit the time to volunteer for organizations.


Always ensure your goals are positive. If your goal is to be a better student, don’t word your goal as “miss only 2 scheduled classes” word it as “attend all classes”. The wording of a goal plays an important part. If you have worded the goal negatively, there is a negative association with the goal. For example if you partied last night, and you wake up groggy, you will say to yourself “it is only one class”. This kind of thinking leads to a snowball effect. After you have missed 2 classes, you will have the mindset that you have already missed two another one won’t make a difference.

Ignore the goals focus on the process

Goals are always accomplished by hard work and diligence. Simply setting a goal won’t make it happen. You must develop a process to make that goal happen. Simply setting a goal like “to learn a foreign language” is just a thought. However, putting in motion your study plan is how you will learn that language. Putting aside scheduled time each week will get the job done. A kid’s goal may not be that he wants to learn math, but since an allotted time each week is set forth for he/she to do so, the child will eventually end up learning it. If you have a goal, you must come up with a process or system to achieve it.

Reward yourself

Make sure that you reward yourself for achieving your goals and mini goals. This will keep you on the track. Looking at kids, you can see how a little reward here and there can make the world of difference in the child’s participation. You can watch a small kid work 10 times harder for a teacher, if the teacher offers a sticker. This sticker will without a doubt be lost before the kid returns home. As adults, not much has changed. Our sticker is an hour of free time a trip to a massage parlor. Rewards for achieving miniature goals do not have to be big. Having someone else verify the completion of these goals will limit any cheating. After achieving your one-year resolution, have something big in mind or something that you will truly look forward to.

Choose 1 goal!

Make sure you limit the amount of goals you have set. Goals can be compared to football players. Tackling one football player is a hell of a lot easier than trying to tackle a whole team at once. The more goals that you have set the more confused you will be on where to begin. You will immediately be neglecting goals, from lack of time. Make sure you choose the goal you want to achieve and prioritize it. Trying to prioritize too many things at once is a recipe for destruction.


Did you know?
The University of Scranton has done some research on goal setting. People who explicitly set goals are 10 times more likely to achieve their goals than someone who has not explicitly set a goal. You can check out other fun new year resolution statistics here.

Another interesting post with fun facts about New Years Resolutions can be found here.

At Shanghai Properties, our 2014 New Years Resolution was to help many expats find their dream homes in Shanghai, and we succeeded! As 2014 has come to a close, we want to give a big THANK YOU to all our followers and loyal clients. We had a great year at Shanghai Properties and it wouldn’t of been the same without you!


In addition, we have decided to extend our Holiday “Goat” Sale until the Chinese New Year (which is the year of the goat coincidentally!), so make sure to spread the word. Choose to rent through us, and with Oxfam we can both help a family in need this holiday.

adrienne-black-top-smallAdrienne Farrelly is one of Shanghai’s most experienced expatriate Property Agents helping expats find new homes since 1994. You can reach her at  +86 13122 810 421 or Connect with her on Skype at shanghaiproperties8. Shanghai Properties