New Year’s Resolutions That Actually Work

Female hands in winter gloves with christmas gift box
It’s that time of year again: when people swear they’ll stop eating X, start doing Y, and the gym is suddenly three times busier than normal … for about a month. Then people revert right back to their old ways. If you recognize yourself in the previous sentence, don’t beat yourself up too much. We’ve all set New Year’s resolutions before, but the everyday grind of work, running errands, and dealing with our personal lives always seems to wear down that initial enthusiasm for change.

How do we break the cycle? How can we create lasting change in our lives in the coming year? In this article, we’ll list some of the differences that distinguish those who conquer their goals for the New Year versus the majority who fail.


1. Decide what, specifically, you want to change

Maybe you need to lose weight. Maybe you’re frustrated with your lack of progress in the gym or with a hobby. Maybe you want to overcome a fear. Clearly identify what you want to change, and write it down. Second, pick one resolution for the coming year. Studies have shown it takes about 30 days for a new behavior to become wired in the brain as a habit. Pick one thing you really want to change in the coming year, and make that your New Year’s resolution. If you want do more, you can add them later on in the year, after you have established a habit of making consistent progress on your first and primary resolution.

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