So, you’ve made a New Year’s resolution to really, absolutely, finally, achieve something this year. Maybe you’ve committed to giving blood. Great! Do it! Book now! Get out there! If you don’t do it now, you probably never will.

If your resolution is to spend more time with loved ones, you’re probably already putting it off until Spring, a birthday perhaps or the annual BBQ. Noooo! What you need is a system for fulfilling your resolution, not the resolution itself.

A system for seeing loved ones?! Really? Bear with us.

Take dieting for instance. If your resolution is to lose a stone, already that feels a massive challenge. Failure is already stalking you! If your resolution is to run a 10km run, that might feel daunting. Maybe you’ll go for a run tomorrow, or next week. Or not.

In all these instances, the scientifically proven method of increasing your chances of success is focussing on your journey, not the destination itself.

When it comes to dieting, it’s not even about how small amounts of weight loss adding up (though it is), the trick is to create a system for what you eat every day. If it’s a 10km run, your system is your manageable exercise plan. If it’s saving more, your system is re-evaluating your daily spend.

And what about seeing more of your loved ones? Your system could be, each week, pick someone you might normally only see twice a year, and fire off a call or text or email. Can you imagine all the good that will come from that?

Any resolution (goal) can be systemised. You might say you never have enough time to exercise. Yes you do! You just need a system to make you that time. Resolutions are great when you achieve them, but there’s no point having them without giving yourself the best possible chance of making them a reality.

We’re all different. One person’s system, may not work for the next. But the trick IS finding the system that works for you. Once you get going, your system (and your resilience) will build. For example:

Resolution: IMPROVE MY FRENCH

System: Download a language coaching app AND think only in French on my way to work

Resolution: FINISH THE BOOKS I START READING

System: Join a book club find out the first book to be reviewed AND be the first to finish it

Resolution: LOSE A STONE IN WEIGHT

System: Change what I have for weekday breakfast AND improve one weekend eating habit

Resolution: GIVE UP SMOKING

System: Stop taking my cigarettes to work AND don’t replace them when they’re gone