How to make your New Year’s resolutions stick

How to make your New Year’s resolutions stick

When it comes to New Year’s resolutions researchers at the University of Scranton have shown that less than 10% of resolutions are actually achieved. The good news is it’s not impossible to embrace a healthy habit.

Let’s be honest, adopting a healthy habit isn’t easy. If it was we would all be living on whole foods, drinking plenty of water, getting good quality sleep, exercising and meditating every day, embracing our passions, saving the planet, and the other 101 things that are on the to-do list.

Here’s how you can better embrace healthy habits in 2019, and tick off some of that to-do list…

Start small and specific

In the book The Power of Habit, author Charles Duhigg explains there are some key considerations to ensure your habit will stick. Firstly, make sure the goal is small, specific and achievable. Instead of “exercise more” choose something specific like “take a 15 minute walk during my lunch break”.

Don’t attempt too much too soon

Duhigg also recommends that you make the habit really easy to achieve in the first week, and then you can build on it as the habit sticks.

Be patient

Of course we don’t expect results overnight, but going through the hard yards of change is never fun. In his book, Outliers: The Story of Success, author Malcolm Gladwell says that it takes a whooping 10,000 hours of practice most people to get good at anything. During that time it’s easy to revert back to your old ways, but as we know, patience is a virtue. If you are trying to replace a physically addictive habit like smoking or sugar, these are going to be extra hard ones to break because these habits flood your brains with the feel good hormones, even though they are detrimental to your health.

Find a reward to keep you motivated

When it comes to exercise, research from the Iowa State University have found that the combination of a conditioned cue and intrinsic reward may be the key to developing an exercise habit. The research found that if you don’t enjoy exercise it takes more than a cue to stick to an exercise routine, you need an intrinsic reward as well. These rewards are specific to each individual, it may be a coffee after your workout or even a small piece of dark chocolate, something that will fuel your motivation.

Get back on the horse

The adage of “You have to get back on the horse that threw you” is good advice when it comes to establishing a new habit. Chances are you are you going to slip occasionally, but the key to not falling back into old habits is to get back to it straight away. So if you miss the walk one day, make an extra effort not to miss it the following day.



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