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6 Tips for Keeping Your New Year's Resolutions

new year's resolutions

January feels like the perfect time for a fresh start. We get new planners, we buy new tennis shoes, we make resolutions, and the possibilities seem endless! And then February comes, and we probably find ourselves in the majority of people who tend to give up on their new year's resolutions. But an interesting study published in the Journal of Clinical Psychology found that people who make resolutions are more likely to change their habits than those who don't. This makes sense, though. Can you imagine trying to change something that you don't even know you want to change? A resolution is an awareness that you want to change!

In the book, Tiny Habits, the author, Stanford behavioral scientist BJ Fogg recommends a 3 part strategy:

  • make the action so small and doable that you actually do it (see 2-minute articles)

  • add the action to a part of your day so that it becomes part of a routine

  • celebrate after you do it

Think of somethings you do automatically: brushing your teeth, using the restroom, getting dressed before going outside, putting on your shoes, eating breakfast. These things have become habits. They also fit into Fogg's 3-part strategy. Brushing your teeth, for example, is a short, quick (a.k.a., small action). You typically do it when you wake up or after you eat breakfast or before you leave the house; it is a part of your routine. That fresh feeling in your mouth after brushing? That's a mini-celebration! How can you turn other things you want to do into habits?

Here are 6 tips I have used to implement these 3 strategies

Tip #1: Choose small, specific, doable actions to achieve your change

If you want to train for a 5K, you wouldn't start off with running 5K if you have never done that before. Instead, you would make a habit to put on your tennis shoes every morning and walk while your coffee is brewing.

Tip #2: Focus on one habit at a time

Establishing a new habit takes time and effort because you are usually changing a life-long or years-long habit. It may take a while to unlearn the old habit and put a new