Image of a chalkboard with three personal goals for 2016

New Year’s resolutions with a difference

The New Year is an optimistic time for many of us with millions making resolutions to better themselves in some way. According to a YouGov survey the top resolutions involve career, health, money, relationships and DIY. But what can make the biggest impact to your life? Do we keep making the promises to change or instead, could we get a better understanding of these crucial factors in our life? Change could just be a matter of becoming better educated.

Health – What factors influence health?

At this time of year it is easy to over indulge, which might be why improving exercise (51%), losing weight (47%) and improving diet (41%) feature so highly on the list of common New Year's resolutions. A lot of attention is focused on people’s behaviour for example their decision to smoke, drink, over-eat. But people’s behaviour is influenced by circumstances and events, friend and family, education, job prospects, income, housing and environments. Factors that influence health: An introduction and Eating to win: activity, diet and weight control explores some of these factors and importance of nutrition in physical activity, sport and weight management.

Career and work – What do you need to know to succeed in the workplace?

Every year almost a quarter of people make the resolution to pursue a new career. But to make a successful change it is vital to evaluate career aspirations, personal values and interests. All this builds the foundation of a robust action plan. Success in the Workplace provides the skills needed to build the knowledge required to fulfil the aspiration of getting that dream job.

Prue Leith, journalist, cookery writer and novelist, shares her experience of assessing her life priorities and changing career aspirations.

Money – What skills help manage personal budgets?

Christmas can leave some of us with a financial hangover. It is no wonder then that almost a third of people say that saving money is a personal goal in the coming year. In 2014 personal finance education became part of the national curriculum in schools but everyone should have the opportunity to learn how to manage their money better. Managing My Money will give you everything you need to manage budgets, understand debts and investment, property purchases, pensions and insurance.

Relationships – What makes them last?

Relationships with friends and loved ones can become stretched at this time of year for many different reasons. A recent research project by the OU’s Dr Jacqui Gabb Enduring Love explores what makes for a long lasting relationship. Listen to couples who have been together for many years share their experience and give hints and tips as to what they think is the magic formula.