There’s nothing like the start of a new year to inspire all kinds of worthwhile goals...

And then there’s nothing like trying to overhaul your life in January to persuade you to ditch them.

Research has found that the second Friday in January is the point where most people start to abandon their New Year’s resolutions, while other surveys have found that between 66% and 80% quit entirely by February.

So if you’re determined to stick with your 2019 resolutions, Cathy Winston, editor of 101 Singles Holidays, has seven ways to help you keep yours.

1. Get in shape
It’s one of the most popular resolutions made after the indulgence of Christmas but if the thought of signing up for yet another gym membership or jogging around a chilly park doesn’t appeal, how about a healthy holiday to kickstart the year’s regime?

The Healthy Holiday Company has a variety of breaks, including retreats focused around nutrition and healthy eating, yoga and fitness holidays with options in Portugal, Spain and Thailand. Even better, combine your workout with some winter sunshine at Europe’s largest health and fitness resort, Playitas, in Fuerteventura.

Or you could walk yourself to fitness following some fascinating itineraries on foot from Ramblers Walking Holidays along with a holiday exploring Europe’s lakes and mountains from Inghams.

2. Find happiness
It’s a tall order for any trip but if you’re looking to transform your life and find happiness this year, the personal development retreats at Cortijo Romero in Spain make a perfect start.

The week-long breaks include options with a focus on how to fall in love, the roots of happiness, finding meaning and resolving personal issues, along with meditation, dance and singing. Set in the mountains of of Las Alpujarras in Andalucia, there’s also free time to relax and explore, yoga or tai chi daily before breakfast and extras including private life coaching sessions.

3. Travel solo
More of us than ever are choosing to travel solo – new figures found around 15% had chosen to holiday by themselves in 2018, compared to 12% the year before, and more than double the numbers travelling alone in 2011.

If you’re determined to book your first in 2019, it’s worth looking at a company which specialises in singles holidays and one which offers solos-only trips, to ensure you’re not left feeling out of place. Friendship Travel and Solos Holidays have a range of trips, including UK, house-party style beach escapes and more active adventures. There’s also the Mistral Hotel in Crete which has created exclusively for solo travellers.

Solo Travellers specialises in group tours for solo travellers, visiting some of Europe’s less discovered destinations, while Cox & Kings also runs dedicated solo traveller tours to destinations including India and Costa Rica, popular with over-50s.

4. Learn something new
If you’ve ever wished you knew more about art, literature, history and culture, it’s a great resolution to make for the year – but instead of sitting down with a pile of books or trying to visit every museum and gallery in a 10-mile radius, put yourself in the hands of the experts.

The Cultural Travel Company features expert speakers sharing their knowledge as part of group trips covering art, architecture, archaeology, history and music in Europe. You can choose from city breaks and short trips, UK weekend escapes or a string of European destinations with tours which are guaranteed to leave you inspired.

Sister company Martin Randall Travel also specialises in holidays on similar cultural themes, ranging from single day events to a 17-day trip to Peru, complete with expert speakers too.

5. Write a bestseller
If your goal for 2019 is to write a novel rather than simply reading more of them, it’s hard to beat a holiday with some expert tuition on a creative writing retreat. Skyros has welcomed a catalogue of prize-winning authors to its centres in Greece and the Isle of Wight to help budding writers hone their skills.

With breaks focused around different styles and aspects of writing, you can choose from short breaks in the UK as well as week-long courses featuring fiction along with fun activities from kayaking to yoga and painting.

6. Tick somewhere off your bucket list
With so much world to see, it’s always tempting to add a travel resolution to your list of goals, visiting somewhere or something you’ve always wanted to see before the end of the year. How about seeing the pyramids of Egypt in all their glory or the lost city of Petra, with a trip from On The Go Tours. Or walk the Inca Trail and discover the unique wildlife of the Galapagos Islands with Explore.

For more wonders of nature, spy lemurs and baobabs in Madagascar with Rainbow Tours or marvel at the eerie green swirls of the Northern Lights on a trip with Regent Holidays.

7. Have an adventure
Make 2019 the year of adventure by heading off the beaten track and exploring somewhere completely new. Yellowwood Adventures offers trips into the mountains and rock churches of Ethiopia, as well as among the nomads of Kyrgyzstan.

Or snorkel the Great Barrier Reef before heading into the Outback and marvelling at the grandeur of Uluru – specialist tour operator Australian Sky has a variety of self-drive and escorted tours around the country.

And what sums up adventure quite as much as the idea of venturing into the Wild West… cowboy style? Join a ranch holiday from the Inspiring Travel Company where you can watch a rodeo and sleep out under the stars before riding off into the wild blue yonder.

January 2019