How to keep your New Year's resolutions according to a life coach

Naomi Ackerman

We all want to better ourselves in the New Year, and our intentions are pure. But in a world full of temptations, it's all too easy to deviate and become distracted. Here, a life coach offers her top tips to get back on track.

Mindfulness author and former headhunter Palma Michel recommends people make resolutions less abstract, give themselves rewards and, if all else fails, force themselves via an app that punishes them financially.

She said: “By the end of January, 50 per cent of people will have thrown their resolutions out of the window altogether, so this is really hard to do.

“Resolutions need to be something we call ‘smart goals’ - they need to be really specific. For example, if someone says, ‘I want to exercise more’, ‘exercise more’ is not concrete enough for the subconscious. You need to decide what you will do, where you will do it, how long you will do it for.”

She highlighted an app,, which pledges money to causes people do not like, such as supporting a political party they don’t agree with, when they break their resolution as a good deterrent. “You pick a goal you want to achieve and you pledge some money for it,” she said.

“You pick something really shameful, and someone will know if you gave money to [that cause]. The result would be much more unpleasant than going to the gym.”

Ms Michel also said habits people want to break, such as smoking and drinking, can be eliminated once a “trigger” is identified.

She added: “You have the trigger - you place down the keys, you hang up your jacket and you sit down on the couch and pour yourself a glass of wine. So pouring yourself a glass of orange juice or water instead would be using the existing cues to rewire a new behaviour from it.”