The most important New Year’s Resolutions ever made

Lose weight, get fit, save money and quit smoking are among the most popular and commonly broken New Years’ resolutions. In fact, only eight per cent of resolutions made are actually kept. It begs the question, why do so many of us set ourselves up for probable failure? 

Psychologists believe it is the allure of a fresh start, the prospect of self-improvement and of course, tradition. Besides, there are no consequences if we don’t actually follow through right?

On January 1, world leaders embarked upon the most ambitious and important set of New Years’ resolutions ever made. The new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) or #GlobalGoals, aim to eradicate poverty and injustice and reduce the effects of climate change.

Lessons learned from their predecessor the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), mean the world has never been more equipped for success, but how do the #GlobalGoals avoid the fate of most New Years’ resolutions and what can you do to help? Here are our suggestions:

     1.  Accountability

World Vision encourages the use of ‘Citizen’s Charters’ where communities and authorities outline expectations for service delivery; adapting national level commitments to local contexts. They’re also an effective monitoring tool.

     2.  Prioritise

What is the one thing that you really want to improve or change? Focus your energies there. At World Vision, we will maintain our holistic development approach but focus our advocacy and campaign efforts on ending violence against children (SDG 16); particularly in fragile or conflict-affected states. The Syrian refugee crisis, the largest humanitarian crisis of our time, must certainly be the most pressing priority for all of us.

     3. Do what you can

The SDGs are not just the responsibility of governments and aid agencies. Individuals can and should make a difference too. For example, buy fair-trade, welcome and help resettle refugees into your community, report violence against children, donate to reputable charities and monitor your own government’s progress on the SDGs; after all these goals are universal.

     4.  Celebrate small victories

With a deadline 15 years away, the SDGs are a marathon, not a sprint. We must celebrate progress often in order to maintain momentum.

     5.  Remember

We must remind ourselves why these goals were set in the first place – to improve and save the lives of the world’s most vulnerable children. Throwing in the towel is simply not an option.


Why don’t you forgo the ordinary and make a resolution that might just save the world this year? Tell us how you plan to make a difference on Twitter @WorldVision #globalgoals #nyresolution

Laura Gemmell is Director Communications (Advocacy & Emergency) Campaigns