Have you set some New Year’s resolutions but are unsure of how to follow through? Make them into habits by following the practical steps below.
Champagne glasses, fireworks, smiling faces everywhere. The evening of December 31st can be a magical time when anything seems possible. Perhaps we even set some resolutions for the new year. At this celebratory time, they seem perfectly realistic and within reach.
In the celebratory spirit of New Year’s Eve, everything seems possible.
But in order to keep our New Year’s resolutions, we need to make them into habits.
How do you follow through with your New Year’s resolutions? Habit formation, a big topic in behavior science, comes to the rescue. The best way to ensure an activity is done consistently is to create a habit.
Create a simple chart where you record how often you complete your habit:
Make the habit very specific in order to remove any doubt about when you should do it. Every time you complete the activity, put a checkmark. If you don’t do it, put a cross.
A chart filled out over two weeks could look like this:
In order to determine your performance, add the number of checkmarks (in this case, 11) and divide them by the number of days in two weeks (14).
In this case, the performance over the two weeks is 11/14 = 79%. Since that is above 75%, this person is ready to add another habit. If it were below 75%, this person would need to continue working on this habit for another two weeks.
Review your New Year’s resolutions (or habits)
Once you’ve established a habit (i.e., passed the 75% threshold), move on to your next New Year’s resolution and make a habit out of that. If you notice that you’re struggling with a habit you had established earlier, feel free to spend another two weeks on it.
Make sure you revisit your New Year’s resolutions once a month or so. You can have a simple list of resolutions/habits you’d like to keep and post it on your fridge door or save it on your phone. Alternatively, you can use an app such as Habit Hub to help keep track of your habits and monitor your progress.
Good luck! I hope these tips help you steer your New Year in the desired direction, so you can confidently keep any New Year’s resolution you choose.