I hope that everyone had a lovely Christmas and New Year. It is always a strange time trying to get back to normality; taking the tree down, finishing off the left overs and trying to cut down at the same time. Impossible!

Over Christmas all routines get thrown out the window. I had spent all of November and December at the gym and trying to eat well. This Christmas I have done neither! I have made it my resolution to continue keeping fit and eating well for the rest of the year. The problem is keeping it up when you get to week three of January and you have forgotten everything that you were so determined about just a few weeks before.

Most people will set themselves some sort of goal for 2016 and will give it their all at the start but then life will get in the way. After speaking to some of the Largs residents it appears that trying to lose weight or keeping fit was the most common resolution that people were making. With the exception of one person who wanted to improve their roller skating!

I decided to read up on ways to keep motivated throughout the year and to stick to the goals set.

Apparently psychologists have found that we are most likely to succeed if we break down our goals into smaller goals and set specific tasks. I know that I am guilty of trying to complete the whole goal in January alone and leave the rest of the year to do whatever I like. Unfortunately, it makes the goal almost impossible and makes it so much more tempting to quit. So this year I am going to set monthly goals and adjust them as I go along depending on how I am getting on. This way I can feel like I am achieving something and this will keep me motivated to continue.

It is also a good idea just to set one resolution instead of setting four or five. This means that it is something that you really want and it will be easier to channel all your energy into this one goal. I have been told that keeping a journal of your story is also an effective way of keeping motivated. This may work for some people. Unfortunately, my resolution in 2010 was to keep a diary for the whole year and to this day only three days are completed. Instead I plan to make a poster and keep it on my wall to record the key progresses.

New Year can be a good time to kick start something positive! I wish you all luck with your resolutions. It is not too late to set one if you haven’t already. Please feel free to share your stories with me, I would love to hear them.

If you have any comments or suggestions for future columns please do not hesitate to get in touch.