Setting half-year resolutions

When we are planning changes or working towards goals in our lives, we tend to like “fresh starts” or “new chapters” to kick them off. Think New Year’s resolutions, diets starting from monday (not that I recommend diets!), and gym memberships starting next month. Although we shouldn’t need to wait until one of these moments to start putting our goals into action, sometimes they can be really helpful for motivation. 

Well, we are coming up to half way through 2021. This could be a great time to consider any goals you would like to work towards during the second half of the year. In light of this, I thought I would share with you the method I used to develop my own half-year resolutions.

Step 1: Write a list of broad goals you’d like to achieve 

This list can be as long as you like, and as aspirational as you like. This is simply the starting point, before we narrow these ideas down into some specific actions. Some of the broad goals I’d like to see in my life are to:

  • Prioritise myself and my family over work
  • Stop getting frequent headaches and migraines
  • Sweat the small stuff less
  • Improve and maintain flexibility 
  • Have neat, well-manicured nails 
  • Try a new hobby
  • Grow my blog 

Step 2: If you have listed multiple goals, prioritise them, and pick three or four that are most important to you

This is important – it’s very easy to get wrapped up in thinking you can do everything before you start!

While I think it’s great to consider and write down all the goals you’d like to achieve, it’s not always realistic that you can accomplish all of them, particularly within a time frame of six months. Attempting to address too much can become overwhelming, and set yourself up for failure. Besides, you can keep some of the others stashed away for next year, when they might be a higher priority!

I’ve selected four major goals that I think are my biggest priorities in the short term. They are also quite connected, meaning I should be able to develop actions that work in unison!

My chosen goals are: 

  • Prioritise myself and my family over work
  • Stop getting frequent headaches and migraines
  • Sweat the small stuff less
  • Have neat, well-manicured nails 

Step 3: Determine specific actions that you can take to work towards these goals

Now we are beginning to shape the specifics of our goals. It’s important to determine the details of the goal to ensure they are measurable: what actions will I take, how often, for how long, and to meet which target? These will work to break down a big, looming goal into manageable steps that you can actually follow. 

As I mentioned earlier, ideally (but not always), certain actions might address more than one broad goal.

The specific actions I have come up with to address my four broad goals are: 

1. Do not check emails once I leave work every afternoon

Photo by Tara Winstead on

I know I sometimes don’t practice what I preach when it comes to work-life balance. Work causes me a lot of stress and it’s important that I set boundaries and maintain them. 

Despite removing the mail app from my phone in an effort to limit bringing work home, I began developing the frequent habit of instead checking my emails through the internet browser, which felt like cheating myself!

Somewhere along the way I convinced myself that checking my emails in the evening or over the weekend is a way to alleviate the anxiety of the unknown, when I return to work the next day. 

However, I know this isn’t a proper solution, and I cannot be fully present with my friends and family while I am thinking about or checking on my work emails. Instead, I need to set this boundary in place and work on becoming comfortable forgetting about my work until the next work day starts.


  • Prioritise myself and my family over work

As well as: 

  • Stop getting frequent headaches and migraines
  • Sweat the small stuff less

2. Drink six glasses of water every day

Photo by Steve Johnson on

I know you’re probably thinking “why not eight?!” or these days potentially even “why not two gallons?!” Well, the main reason is because I am not nearly close to drinking eight glasses of water a day, so I need to start somewhere realistic. In addition, as a relatively small person, I think 1.5L a day is probably actually sufficient, and is far more than I am currently drinking.

I know this is probably hard to believe for some people, but drinking water is something I can so easily forget to do during the day. I don’t feel thirsty very often (even after exercising!) and I don’t really find it enjoyable, especially not in winter.

However, it does have one side effect that I do not like. I am prone to headaches and migraines. Although part of this is most definitely stress, it’s certainly not made any better by the fact I am probably often dehydrated.

So, I am going to start with a goal of six glasses of water each day. In winter, herbal tea can count towards this. I hope eventually this will become a habit that I don’t need to think about, but I need to start somewhere. 

I also intend to use this as a replacement activity to biting my fingernails (i.e. when I catch myself biting, I have a glass of water instead), so while it primarily addresses my aim to stop getting frequent headaches, it may also contribute to improving my nails…


  • To stop getting frequent headaches and migraines

As well as:

  • To have neat, well-manicured nails 

3. Stop biting/picking my fingernails, tracked with monthly progress updates to blog

Photo by Valeria Boltneva on

I felt extremely apprehensive about posting this one, and particularly on including a picture. I have deliberately put this goal last so that the picture wouldn’t appear in the post’s preview! However, this is my biggest goal.

As you can see, I have a very bad habit of biting and picking/peeling my nails (particularly my thumbs), which I have had since I was five years old. My habit is particularly bad when I am anxious, frustrated or in a state of deep concentration. I have tried many, many methods to curb my habit in the past, but I am finding it incredibly hard to shake.

At times I will make progress, and I might stop biting/picking for two or three weeks (usually when I go on holiday). However, so far, it has always returned (usually when I go back to work!). Not only are my nails worse when I am stressed, but having painful, bitten nails creates further stress.

I think it’s important for me to post about this goal, as I am hoping discussing it here will attach some accountability to it. To ensure regular tracking of this goal, I am committing to uploading regular progress updates here, either fortnightly or monthly, depending on what seems necessary.

I know this is going to be the hardest goal for me to achieve, but I know that I can do it!


  • To have neat, well-manicured nails 

As well as: 

  • To sweat the small stuff less

So there you go, those are my half year resolutions. They may seem very simple – I’m sure many of you already have a great work-life balance, drink plenty of water and don’t have a nail biting habit! But for me, they will be challenging. If I can successfully implement these goals by the end of 2021, I’ll be incredibly proud. 

I encourage you to think similarly about goals that are most important to you, no matter how big or small, or how different they might be from typical goals and resolutions. If you like, please feel free to share what you’re planning on working towards!


7 thoughts on “Setting half-year resolutions

Add yours

  1. Great list of goals. It is unique to you and that’s what matters. Drinking water was always difficult for me as well. I made a goal at the beginning of the year to drink 2 glasses a water a day. At first, I struggled but now it feels easy. I have more energy and my skin doesn’t get as dry. I also have found that I crave water instead of other drinks.

    Liked by 1 person

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