Words by Nik Taylor

The New Year is just a few days old, so...how are those resolutions going?

Not everyone makes them, of course. "I don't have one," says KJKA on our New Year's Resolution thread. "I think it's stupid waiting for a certain date to change. If you want to change you make a decision to change and you do it and stick by it consistently."

Advent2 agrees. "I set myself goals throughout the year anyway, I don't bother waiting until a new year to make positive changes in my life."

But plenty of people find the ticking over of another year is the perfect catalyst for focusing their mind on the change they want to see in themselves.

A browse through the resolutions made so far uncovers common themes. Revising more, passing exams, going to the gym regularly, getting more sleep and procrastinating less all crop up more than a few time. (Though, thinking about it, maybe we'll leave that last one until next year...)

There's also advice on which resolutions not to pick. "Last year mine was to become ambidextrous, or at least to be able to write with both hands," says jasmine. "I wouldn't recommend it, I spent way too much time on it, and I'm still useless."

A strange resolution? Well, maybe it could come in handy. "I've always wanted to be ambidextrous, and I hate it when I'm in an exam and I get cramp in my hand, wish I could write with the other," she continues.

Some people plan for the new year to take them further afield. Jack7Richards wants to do a trek to Everest Basecamp, while CherryCherryBoomBoom hopes to "go travelling and see as much of the world as I can."

Others fancy learning a new skill. "Maybe try something else new because last year I did fencing and falconry," says Ellie_May :) "I want to start archery but I cant afford it."

"For once I've decided to actually go ahead and make a resolution," says Three Mile Sprint "It's to stretch every day so that as soon as possible, I can perform the Box Splits." Sounds scary - good luck with that one.

Whatever you pick, sticking to those resolutions is always easier said that done. "I'm not even bothering making any New Year's Resolutions for 2013," says thedarklord12. "Last year I broke most of my 2012 resolutions within the first week."

That does seem a bit like taking life lessons from Homer Simpson ("You tried and you failed miserably. The lesson is, never try.") Surely there must be another way?

Chickenonsteroids has some sage advice on how to boost your chances of sticking to those new year plans this time around.
"Many New Year's Resolutions suffer from ambiguity and lack of focus. So extremely broad goals like 'lose weight' and 'study more' tend to fail after the first month because it's so easy to say you've done something when you haven't.

"You need to make the goals more specific and ask yourself how you're going to achieve them if you want to see any progress. So instead of saying 'lose weight' or 'study more' set a goal of 'lose 5kg in x amount of weeks' or 'improve chemistry to an A before February'. Then say how you'll do it.

"This way, you actually have a plan of attack and should you not achieve your final goal (whether it was too ambitious or unrealistic) then you would have made valuable progress towards something at least."

Nevertheless, there's no doubt many of us will have forgotten about our New Year's Resolutions well before Valentine's Day.

So maybe the final word should go to arnoob:

"Happy New Year! May all your troubles last as long as your New Year's resolutions."