How do you stick to your resolutions?

I'd love to hear any tactics, organization tools, or strategies you've used in the past to make your New Years resolutions actually stick. (My mom always says that 28 days will make or break a habit—so that first month really counts!)

Amanda Sims


BerryBaby December 25, 2016
If I feel I need to change something for my wellbeing I just do it and stick with it. I remind myself 'I'm doing this for ME'. Yoga helps me stay focused.
BerryBaby December 25, 2016
If I feel I need to change something fir my wellbeing I just do it and stick with it. I remind myself 'I'm doing this for ME'. Yoga helps me stay focused.
drbabs December 24, 2016
Read Gretchen Rubin's book on habits, Better Than Before. A lot of the tips above are in it, but she suggests that you have to know yourself first. She has described 4 tendencies-- upholstery, obliger, questioner, rebel-- and your tendency will affect how you go about making change. Also, she says some of us are Abstainers (as in, if you don't want to eat sugar anymore, you abstain from sugar), and some are Moderaters (you mostly don't eat sugar, but you allow it as a treat). I'm a questioner/ rebel and a moderater, which means that no one can tell me what to do, and when I make a decision to break a habit, I'll do it, but I'm not religious about it. In October I did October Unprocessed (check it out!) to stop drinking Coke Zero, which was becoming a bad habit. I stopped, but yesterday when my husband ordered a diet coke, I had a couple of sips because I wanted them. Your mileage will of course very. Here's a link to the 4 tendencies quiz:
Deedledum December 21, 2016
Don't make them-much less pressure. If it's a short or long-term goal, act accordingly. I find it easier to "chunk" the bigger stuff-break the task(s) into smaller pieces, and it's easier to accomplish/complete the goal.
luvcookbooks December 21, 2016
Small number of resolutions.
E.g. Eating less added sugar foods. Doable(less, not none), necessary (I am a sugar addict).

Next up. Move my body more. Doable(no place to go but up). My phone keeps track of steps. (Keeps me honest and motivated).
SMSF December 20, 2016
I've tried to follow the standard advice to not make too many resolutions at once, especially those that involve fairly major lifestyle changes. It's generally too much to handle and be realistic about, and in itself presents a huge chance of failure.

Consider making one big resolution, and write down specifically how you plan to achieve it. For example, resolving that "I'm really going to get in shape!" sounds great, but write down clear actions to get there. It's extremely difficult to fulfill resolutions without specifics to serve as your map or pathway.

Good luck, everyone!
Ali W. December 20, 2016
Write. It. Down. Keep a journal, a list, whatever helps you be accountable for your resolutions. Last year I had quite a few on my list, including "to become a morning workout person" and "to read at least one book per month". I made a weekly list of times I went to the gym in the morning and never let myself go less than 3 times (I failed 2 weeks; one I was sick, the other one I was away) and can now proudly say I work out 5-6 days a week :) The book resolution was much easier to tell the truth...
AntoniaJames December 20, 2016
Two thoughts here: Start small, and establish environmental helpers.
Resolutions often involve habits that need adjusting. Habits are just behaviors, and all behaviors are sequences of actions, triggered by a cue. Decide that when you perceive the cue, that you will do XX small behavior instead - the first step of the new habit to intervene / divert the old one.
Adjust your environment: Say you want to drink more water every day. (You should. You'll feel surprisingly better, no matter what your current level of fitness / health.) Fill a quart Mason jar first thing in the morning at home, and another one first thing when you arrive at work, and put each in a place you'll see frequently - in my house, that's my placemat on the dining room table; in my office, it's on a corner of my desk. I know that I need to drink two of those jars per day. Having them in sight makes accomplishing this habit a cinch.
So, to summarize. Think like an engineer or project manager. Break down the objective into components, understand how they work together, and organize tasks or activities, especially the creation of environmental cues, to make achievement of the objective easier.
Finally, just FYI, current neuroscience research has established fairly conclusively that it takes more like 50 - 60 days to create a new habit / change behavior.
And also, if dieting is one of your resolutions, check out from your library this book by neuroscientist Sandra Aamodt, Ph.D., "Why Diets Make Us Fat," more here and consider focusing on exercise instead.
QueenSashy December 20, 2016
I found that New Years resolutions are meant for breaking :) The ones who stick without trying too hard are the keepers
PHIL December 20, 2016
You're Mom is right, if you can get past those first few weeks it becomes a habit. I don't make any on New Years. Why wait till January 1st, if you are motivated go for it!
ktr December 20, 2016
I have never done a New Years resolution, but with any habit change, I think it is important to really evaluate why you want to make the change so you have something to think about and strive for when you want to go back to your old ways. Be realistic and start with little changes and build on them over time.
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