Most of us can agree that New Year's resolutions are a waste of time and a majority of us do not follow through with our commitments.
According to Darleen Barton, a leading 'relationship whisperer', life coach, counsellor, mediator and bestselling author, we need to dump New Year's resolutions and instead make a contract with ourselves.
Leading business site, Business Insider, says that 80 per cent of New Year's resolutions fail by February. Even worse, Forbes states that only eight per cent of resolutions are achieved.
"Every year millions of people make New Year's resolutions and most of them fail," says Darleen.
"If we are serious about improving our life, making key changes and achieving the things we want to achieve, we need to start taking change seriously.
"2018 should be the best year ever and it can be if people are prepared to get serious. Forget New Year's resolutions, they are a waste of time. Instead make a contract with yourself.
"We only live once, why not get serious about getting the best out of it. We enter into commercial contracts to buy things as basic as phones, internet and Netflix.
“Why not enter into a commercial contract with ourselves to improve our life. Isn't our life the most valuable thing we have? Surely it's more important than Netflix?
"Making a contract with yourself is easy.”
She recommends five key steps:
Work out what you want to achieve in 2018, by when and what you need to do or change to achieve this
Speak with significant people in your life to discuss the changes you need to make to achieve your goals. They may have suggestions and good ideas to help you. Get their buy-in and ask them to assist you with moral support and encouragement
Draw up a contract with yourself to confirm the actions, dates and milestones. Detail in your contact with yourself what you are going to do, when and how. Be specific and make sure the document includes clear milestones
Build in rewards for yourself as you reach milestones and goals. Self-encouragement is important and a vital part of growth and development. Keep your inner circle updated on your progress through progress reports
Sign the document in front of your inner circle – get them to witness it.