setting new year goals
Photo: @SarahRider | Lizzi Richardson

New Year goals can be harmful to wellbeing. Starting a fresh doesn’t have to be in January. You can set goals for yourself anytime, trust me.

I love New Year, it’s one of my favourite times of the year! I love the celebrations, the fireworks, the whole party feel. This year I was lucky to be in Portugal, who knew after the stroke of midnight I would be on a beach looking up at the most beautiful fireworks celebrating 2022 – it was just fabulous.

In years gone by, I have celebrated New Year by screaming into a microphone singing really bad karaoke competing again family until the very early hours of 1st January, spending the next few days with a seriously croaky voice!   And I have had the odd year, snuggled up on the sofa watching the new year in with hubby to Jools Holland Hootenanny on the telly.

I just love it! But the one thing I do not love, and no longer do – is set New Year goals (or resolutions). And I feel so much better for it!

No pressure to give to myself, no competing with others to stop drinking, lose weight or do whatever – I just don’t partake!

I’ve not done it for a few years now and it’s the best gift I’ve given myself.


I promise you, your world will not fall apart if you don’t make any resolutions. If you choose to hold off to February or even later in the year.

You can set goals at anytime in your life. Doesn’t have to be 1st January, it doesn’t have to start on a Monday and it certainly doesn’t have to be dictated to you. You decide what you want to do and when you would like to start it.

“Just because your friend is fired up to make change,

doesn’t mean you have to follow.”

Lizzi Richardson New Year Goals


Here are a number of successful examples of my own goals – at the right time for me:

I quit smoking after 20 years on Tuesday 10th March 2009 at approx 7.30am.  I have not smoked a cigarette since then.

The 10th of March 1989 I started smoking – there was something about the 20th year that made me want to stop, that plus I have three gorgeous nieces that I never (ever) want them to do what I did, so I needed to stop.

Around 6 months before this date, I made a plan, to firstly start to seriously consider stopping. To then reduce my daily intake – and finally about 4 months on this journey I set my date, and I worked to it.

It was hard, the initial three weeks after stopping was probably the most challenging time for me, and the ‘cold turkey’ experience is something I never wish to relive. The point is, I didn’t make it a New Year goal – I did it when it best suited me.


I lost three stone in 2019 and my weightloss journey started on Monday 4th February 2019. And I am pretty chuffed with myself as on the whole I have kept the weight off.

Christmas Day evening of 2018 is when I made the decision I needed to do something, after seeing a photo of me taken earlier that day. I had not realised until this point just how much weight I had gained.

There is zero point to me ‘dieting’ in January, my birthday is at the end of the month, and I love celebrating my birthday. So for me, being good was not going to start until February – and it was the best decision I made.

By the time I was arriving into the office with all my healthy food, a lot of my colleagues had already given up! The pressure was off, it was just my own focus I needed to concentrate on and I had no competition.

By October that year I was about 80% there and by January 2020 I had reached my second goal that I set in September 2019.


I changed by style on Saturday 26th August 2017 – I’ve changed my style many times over the years, I feel it’s important for your style to evolve.

However we do sometimes use a new hairstyle to kick start a whole new phase of our lives. I did this quite dramatically on this Saturday, without much pre-planning to it. I had a deep-v fringe cut in and I dyed my hair considerably darker than I have ever had before. It was a change that I needed to make to reinvent my style.

Another reason for this, is I wanted to draw a line under a situation, and I used my image do make this clear direction for me plus it also gives a visual reference for everyone who was in my life, to say I want change. The point is I didn’t set this as a New Year goal, I did it when it was the right time for me, when I had the right headspace to make the change.

I hope this shows you, that you do not need to add any pressure on yourself to set any New Year goals, and if you are not ready to make any changes right now, that’s absolutely fine.

Just because your friend is fired up to make change, doesn’t mean you have to follow. And if you have started a New Year goal and it doesn’t quite work, pause, and find a new starting point later in the year at a better time for you.

Working towards a starting point, like I did to stop smoking, is still a positive step.

“Around 6 months before this date, I made a plan,

to firstly start to seriously consider stopping”


Don’t feel you need to tell everyone your goals, the reason is everytime you catch up with them, they will naturally ask you. You do however need a cheerleading team, people you are accountable to and will offer you support; be selective and use them to achieve your goal.

Your goals are for you only and only you can determine how successful you have been.

I wish you all the best with whatever you decide to do, and I truly hope 2022 is the year you wish it to be.



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