New Year's resolution ideas: Why experiences should be on your list

new years resolution ideas

New Year's Resolutions we make every year tend to focus on material things or over ambitious self-improvement goals, but what about shifting your focus to new experiences? We take a look at the most common New Years Resolutions, why they fail and what you can do to make them stick. Giving you some New Years Resolutions Ideas along the way that will help you experience something new and create some new memories in 2018.

Why the most common New Year's Resolutions fail

Based on your own experience you probably could hazard a guess that most New Year's Resolutions fail, but there’s actual statistics out there including findings from US News that 80% of resolutions fail by the second week of February. More worryingly a poll of 2,000 British people, published by Bupa, found that half of those setting a New Year’s resolution for 2017 were not confident they would stick to it, which means 50% of us know we are going to fail.

Why is that? And what can we do to make them stick? Well, let’s start by looking at the most common New Years Resolutions, which according to a ComRes poll are:

  1. Exercise more (38%)
  2. Lose weight (33%)

  3. Eat more healthily (32%)

  4. Take a more active approach to health (15%)

  5. Learn new skill or hobby (15%)

  6. Spend more time on personal wellbeing (12%)

  7. Spend more time with family and friends (12%)

  8. Drink less alcohol (12%)

  9. Stop smoking (9%)

  10. Other (1%)

Here’s the thing, too often we focus so much on the symptom of not experiencing enough. Us humans need new experiences because without them things can become boring. A life on repeat with the same old habits then leads to all of those negative outcomes we tend to ‘resolute’ to change in the New Year. The reason most of these resolutions fail is because they are too broad or too dramatic a change that onlys focus's on what we want to achieve, not the steps we need to take to get there. Philip Clarke, lecturer at the University of Derby Online Learning, explains:

"They set long-term outcome goals such as getting a 'dream body' or to spend more time with family and, as a starting point, these sound like good goals. The problem is that the goal-setting process for many people stops there.
People who develop action plans experience less anxiety, more confidence, improved concentration and greater satisfaction about achieving their goals and are more likely to succeed."

How to make your New Year's Resolution stick in 2018

new years resolution

The same Bupa research also discovered that 52% planned to set smaller, more achievable goals to help them stick to their New Year’s resolution. They also found that:

  • 1 in 5  people admitted to setting overly ambitious and unsustainable goals.
  • 58% of women and 45% of men say setting smaller and realistic goals will help them keep their New Year’s resolutions

  • While 26% of men and 21% of men say technology is the key to helping them keep their goals on track

These are all great ways to help you stick to your New Year resolution, but there’s also something to be said for focusing on small actions you can take now. Every one of these common resolutions can be transformed into an experience based promise that will deliver the same outcome. Don’t believe us? Well let’s give a go shall we:

  1. Exercise more: sign up for the London Marathon next year
  2. Lose weight: join an adult dance troupe or find a regular dance class
  3. Eat more healthily: learn to cook healthier by joining a regular cooking class
  4. More active approach to health: study nutrition or learn to blog about your experience
  5. Learn new skill or hobby: actually find a course and enroll now
  6. More time on personal wellbeing: book yourself a spa break or mini break in January
  7. More time with family and friends: actually book in an activity, like an escape room right now
  8. Drink less alcohol / stop smoking: don’t just hang out at the local, make your nights out more activity orientated so you can be distracted and drink ‘less’ smoke ‘less’, then eventually work your way towards giving up if that's what you want to do. 

Making a New Year's resolution that is unrealistic will just lead to more difficulties as you experience a feeling of failure early in the year. The difference with the above translations of common resolutions is that they all have a specific action to take. If you don’t feel that those actions are realistic then that is not the right resolution for you.

Psychologically by telling yourself to ‘stop smoking’ or ‘exercise more’ you are also setting yourself up for a repeating pattern of self-sabotage. Why not remove that pressure? All of the above could live under one resolution ‘experience new things in 2018’.

Experience based New Year's Resolution Ideas for 2018

Doing something different and shaking things up is what we’re all about here at Handmade Mysteries, which is why we’re always sharing ideas for unusual nights out in London, Brighton and beyond. So, why not ditch the typical New Year's Resolution this year and create a bucket list of new experiences for 2018 instead? Here’s a few ideas to get you started:

Create an escape room dream team for 2018

Gather your mates and create your own escape room dream team, so you can start making your way through the 100s of escape games in the UK together and tot up your victories through the year. Get started by booking your first escape room today.

Enroll in a new online course or evening class that kicks off in January

Don’t just make an empty promise to ‘learn a new skill’ take action and enroll yourself in a course now. Feeling nervous? Why not find a friend who would like to join you?

Sign up for a marathon or charity run

There is nothing like an upcoming marathon to motivate you to get fit and take your exercise regime more seriously. If you’ve always wanted to do the London Marathon then nows your chance.

Make your way through our alternative night out blogs

We have created several blogs over the last year on how you can do something different. So, make your way through our blog for more inspiration and you’ll be having so much fun you won’t have time to drink too much or chain smoke!

Do less adulting and make room for more playtime

This is the kind of New Year's Resolution we can get behind. Sometimes we take life way too seriously and forget to have fun. Make a promise to do something playful at least once a month. Even if that’s as simple as cracking out the cards one evening, heading to a pub with retro games or taking the family to a theme park.

Stave the January blues by booking in new experiences now

Now that we’ve revved you up to get some new experiences under your belt, don’t walk away without taking action. Book yourself an escape room, start searching for some evening courses or browse through our blog for some alternative night out ideas.