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Make This Year’s Resolution Stick!

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Every new year, we tell ourselves, "This year I'm going to …" Then the year ends without achieving our resolutions, and we promise to do better next year. We tend to repeat this same cycle year after year without making real progress. 

Why do many New Year's resolutions fail? 

Because creating new habits can feel like a monumental task. We often pressure ourselves to go big or go home. Not surprisingly, these big expectations are often unrealistic, and that's a recipe for disappointment and self-criticism. Make this year different!

Here’s a three-step process to turn your resolution into a habit.

Step 1. Keep it simple and start small

  • If your new behavior feels painful or too hard, your brain will stop you from doing it. 
  • Make it easier by picking a behavior you want to do, not what you should do. 
  • You can rely less on motivation if the behavior is simple. 

Examples: Walk for 10 minutes on Monday, add one extra serving of vegetables at dinner, meditate for five minutes three times 

Step 2. Put the new behavior next to an existing routine

  • Start doing the new behavior right after completing an action you already typically do.
  • Create something that prompts you to do the new behavior.


  • I will walk for 10 minutes after my Monday morning meeting each workday and set an alarm on my phone.
  • I will add one serving of vegetables to my dinner and leave a sticky note on the fridge as a reminder. 
  • I will meditate for five minutes on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday before I go to bed.

Step 3. Reward the behavior to create positive emotions

  • Creating positive emotions will motivate you to keep implementing the behavior and make it more automatic.
  • Find an easy way to immediately reward your accomplishment of the behavior without using food. 

Examples: Do a happy dance, pat yourself on the back, give yourself a sticker, journal

A new year is a great opportunity to get inspired and make your goals happen. Whatever your goals are, be patient with yourself! Those habits you’re trying to change probably took years to develop, so you can’t expect to change them overnight. Working toward your resolution is a process. 

Be kind and flexible with yourself and celebrate any and all progress. It's not just the end goal that matters—it's the journey along the way. Cheers to making this year different!