New Year’s resolutions: 4 tips to create healthy habits that stick
By Bridgette Williams Nov 27, 2022 • 3 min
The new year presents an opportunity to reset or begin something new. For many people, making New Year’s resolutions is a way of turning over a new leaf. In fact, about 40% of Americans resolve to make a change in the early days of a new year. But if you’ve ever tried and failed to keep your resolution(s), you’re not alone. Studies show that only about 10% of people who make New Year’s resolutions actually keep them.
While a sense of accomplishment can come from meeting your goals, falling short of those goals can sometimes lead to negative feelings. That’s why it’s important to set yourself up for success before starting on your journey, to ensure you’re setting healthy goals that you can achieve. Here are four simple tips to help turn your New Year’s resolutions into healthy habits that last.
1. Set specific, realistic goals.
Decide exactly what you want to do. Specific, measurable goals give you something to focus on and feel much more doable.
A goal to lose weight is good. A better goal could be to lose a healthy amount of weight per week, about 1 to 2 pounds over two to three months. Small goals, rather than big ones, are easier to sustain and build upon.
2. Make a plan, but keep it flexible.
You know what you want to do, now map out how you’ll do it. A plan detailing how you’ll reach your goal can help you through common roadblocks, like time crunches. And make sure to consider alternative routes. Your plan is the roadmap, but just like with any journey, you’ll get more out of it if you’re open to new possibilities along the way.
3. Reward yourself to stay motivated.
Treating yourself to small rewards along your journey can be great motivation to continue working toward your goal.
- Get a new workout device or new workout clothes
- Note your wins in a journal
- Post photos to your wall of fame
- Get a massage
- Give yourself a social media shoutout
- Indulge in some personal time
Your motivation can be as unique as you are. The key is to choose rewards that are meaningful to you.
4. Go easy on yourself.
Give yourself some grace. Remember: Your health and wellness journey is yours to navigate. It’s OK to take a break when life gets in the way. If you have a setback, don’t worry. And don’t give up. Your health goals don’t need to be tied to the turn of the year — you can get back on track, or get started, any day of the year.
Published November 2022.