Tips to keep your 2017 resolutions on track: From clutter-free kitchens to personal fitness

Original article appeared in The Advertiser, January 10, 2017.


Organise your goals into manageable, bite-sized chunks recommends one expert.

WHETHER it be dropping a few kilos, saving money or being more organised, New Year’s resolutions are easier said than done.

Determination to complete yearly missions of self-improvement is hell for leather on January 1, but despite enthusiasm, old habits can die hard.

Research from the University of Washington in Seattle reveals almost 40 per cent of people who make New Year’s resolutions break them within two months.

When it comes to achieving resolutions, life coach Stephanie Noon says a positive outcome starts with confidence and a 12-month commitment to breaking habits.

Stephanie, who holds qualifications in psychology and is a member of the International Coaching Federation, says people need to start small then reach for larger goals.

“We want them to think they are capable but if they set a goal too large … they might be setting themselves up to not achieve it,” Stephanie, of Urrbrae, says.

“That will make them think they are not good enough and feel like a failure.

”We need to get the goal right down into meaningful, bite-size pieces so you set yourself up for early successes.”

Professional organiser Sarah Shanahan, founder of Sarah’s House and shopping tour host, knows too well the importance of starting small.

Sarah Shanahan

Professional organiser Sarah Shanahan is all for decluttering. Picture: Stephen Laffer

Sarah is passionate about removing clutter from homes and teaching her clients how to live in tidy spaces.

“In a kitchen, for example, we would always start with the pantry, get everything out, sort it out, make zones and get it labelled,” Sarah, of Trinity Gardens, says.

“All the cooking stuff in one area, all the pasta and rice and the beans and pulses in another, so you know exactly where to go.”

Clients flock to Sarah, 48, in early January after setting themselves New Year’s resolutions, but she says it is up to the individual to maintain their goal.

“If you have a clear vision it will keep you focused,” she says.

“I give them strategies like doing a once over of the area before they go to bed, then a once-a-week tidy up.

“Really, just to keep on top of things.”

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