New Year’s Resolutions – is it worth making any?

graphing paper with text

My New Year’s Resolutions: in 2015, I will be:

  • spending more time with my family (whilst also making new friends and expanding my social circle)
  • rekindling my passion for an old hobby (and trying my hand at something new)
  • shifting that extra stone/14lbs/6kg and not giving into any unhealthy temptations whatsoever.

Yeah, right.

With an estimated 14.5 million adults making New Year’s resolutions that focus on fitness and health, self-improvement (or, at least, the desire for self-improvement) is a national hobby here in the UK. Yet very few of us – some estimates say only around 8% – achieve our New Year’s resolutions. If this is the case, and if the true definition of madness is ‘repeating the same action, over and over, hoping for a different result’, then this year we have to mix it up a little if we’re going to achieve our goals.

I’ve got some huge goals and A races for 2015, but I’ve also planned some fun events and less important races to help keep me motivated (whilst never taking my eye off the ultimate goal of completing an Ironman!)

Get fit and have fun for a good cause


Sometimes it’s helpful to have a little extrinsic motivation to keep you going. It might be that you agree to do something with friends, or perhaps the thought of raising money for charity will spur you on. Several friends have told me how they managed to while away the time whilst running marathons by calculating how much each step/km/mile was worth to their chosen charity in terms of sponsorship.

If the thought of losing the pounds by spending endless hours on a dreadmill makes you worry about losing your mind, then how about the idea of getting your mates together to take part in a Human Race Macmillan Cycletta? These women-only bike rides are set in stunning, family-friendly host venues. There is also a range of distance on offer from 50-150km. There are five events around the country featuring spectacular routes between 50km and 150km, taking place in Bedfordshire, Surrey, the New Forest, Cheshire and Scotland.

If you’re not female or want to take part in a mixed-gender event, why not search for a local sportive? Alternatively, if you visit the website of a charity that you’d like to support, they may have places on events you’d like to enter or might host their own events. If you’re worried that you’re not fit enough to do an event yet, perhaps you could volunteer so that you witness the wide range of ages, sizes and abilities who participate in most sporting events.

Pick up an old hobby, lose weight and make new friends


Rekindle your high school love of netball, volleyball and dodgeball, or try something completely new like boxfit or Insanity classes with social sports clubs such as GO Mammoth, the UK’s largest social sports and fitness club. These kinds of clubs exist simply to make your life more fun and social, without the seriousness and commitment involved in joining a specialist sports club or gym.

If you’re in North American, you might be able to join November Project. It’s a fantastic FREE fitness movement. If you’ve been to a session, please share your thoughts in the comments below.

If you’d like to take part in a free timed 5k run every Saturday morning, then have a look to see whether parkrun is in your country yet, and if so, where the nearest locations are.

Try something new with old friends

Why not kill two birds with one very muddy stone – have fun with your friends AND try something new by taking part in a muddy obstacle course run! Bonus if you raise money for charity whilst doing it. Such events have rocketed in popularity during 2014, and look to be even bigger and better in 2015.

I absolutely HATE mud (and will be looking after my ‘new’ eyes), so am unlikely to do an obstacle race in 2015, but I have set myself the challenge of continuing with something new: CrossFit. I’m now going to sessions offered by my Uni tri club (SUTRI) every Monday and hope to continue doing so in 2015.

Eat healthily & stay motivated

healthy heart

The problem with deciding to completely overhaul a lifestyle is that it can often be a case of biting off more than you can chew. So, when making dietary changes, start small. Set a few realistic goals – in the long run, the boost of actually sticking to them will up your confidence and self-esteem, helping you to make even better changes.

Gradually switching to a healthy eating style (not dieting!) such as clean eating can make a massive difference to your wellbeing without being overwhelming.

My sister and her fiance bought Stuart and me a Nutribullet blender for Christmas, so we’re hoping to drink lots of healthy smoothies in 2015… and I am planning to lose at least 15lbs, but more on that in another post!

Cut down on alcohol & fizzy drinks. Stay hydrated!


This challenge isn’t so hard for me. I very rarely drink alcohol and try not to drink coke too often. I drink water almost all of the time. Did you know that a big bottle of a juice-based drink can contain 300 calories – and those calories add up? Instead, think about switching to something like nuun, light and refreshing sugar-free hydration tabs which you simply drop into a bottle of water to get a great taste AND stock up on the essential electrolytes you lose during everyday activity. One nuun tube has enough tabs to make twelve 16oz (500ml) hydration drinks. It’s sturdy, waterproof and easily fits into a gym bag, bike jersey, purse, or pocket! Sorted.

So – there are some of my basic thoughts about New Year’s Resolutions… but as I mentioned, I have some very clear goals that I will be sharing in the next couple of weeks.

What are your goals, plans and dreams for 2015?

8 Responses

  1. I read somewhere and it still rings true every time I want to make changes, including a new year’s resolution, that you want to be specific. I am not saying that yours isn’t. But, now that we’re talking about, say, new year’s resolutions for health and fitness, and I would say that the more specific your goals are, the better results you will achieve. I am sure you know what I mean. So, although I haven’t set many goals yet for the new year, the biggest is BQ. I will do whatever it takes to become BQ, which means I need to run as many races to qualify as I can next year, starting with my first Surf City Marathon on 2/1/2015 (yes, it’s February 1st, in case you were wondering). But also, I have created a goal with Garmin Connect that I would run 1,100 miles. (By the way, if you’re on Garmin Connect, let’s get connected. 🙂 ) And that is a specific goal in mind. However I do it, say, divide it by 12 and then divide that divided mileage by 4 again…. or throw in marathon training one per month or every two months… or join one of those team challenges… the bottom line is the specific goal so that when I look back this time of 2015, I know what I have and have not accomplished, rather than very loose and non-specific relationship based goals. That is how I see it. 🙂 And your post reminds me of posting a resolution one. Thanks! 🙂

    • Hi! I agree with you about goals needing to be specific. It took me a while to finish figuring mine out for 2015, and I was a bit worried that I wouldn’t manage to get a blogpost written about my SMART goals before the end of 2014, but I managed it:

      I just had a look at the BQ times (and compared them with the London Marathon Good for Age times). For men, I think most of them are slightly slower than for London (with the exception of 18-34); it’s the opposite for women, where almost all of the times are tougher for women. I would need to train exclusively for marathons for a couple of years to have any hope of making the grade! (But maybe one day I’ll manage it). My husband is running London in April. He ran his first marathon in 3:15:26 – he was aiming for sub 3:15, which was the London GFA time at that time, but the course was flooded and nearly 27 miles long, so he missed it then. He’s run 5k in 18:30; 10 miles in 62 mins and HM in 1:25, so I think he can get sub 3:05 with the right training.

      Good luck with your training – I hope you make it!

      I’m on GarminConnect: 🙂

        • Hi! I’ve just been onto Garmin Connect and have accepted the request now 🙂 Your page looks the same as my other friends – maybe it’s the difference between the ‘classic’ view and Garmin’s upgraded interface. The only other thing I can think of is that I almost always run with footpod and a heart rate monitor, so I gather a lot of data – perhaps the extra gear is why I can’t run as fast as you 😉

  2. Thanks for those fabulous suggestions for the new year. I was always an outdoorsy gal but have taken to fitness in the outdoors quite recently and want to share that passion with others through I too plan to train for the Ironman and that’s going to be a focus for 2015. I do hope you manage to reach and excel in your goals too, wish you a high energy 2015 🙂

I'd love to hear your thoughts...

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.