How to Make a New Year’s Resolution Stick

January 4, 2018

Steps to keeping your new year's resolution

It’s a brand-new year and you know what that means – you have a clean slate to finally get serious about losing weight, saving money, or quitting smoking. The only problem is that just because the calendar changed, it doesn’t mean anything else will.

You may have heard that only 8% of people stick with their resolutions throughout the year, which means that 92% of us fall off the wagon – and not surprisingly so. Forming new habits (or breaking old ones) doesn’t come easily to the vast majority of people. We know what we should do, but actually doing them is a totally different story.

So, what’s the secret that 8% of people have figured out? How come they can stick to their resolutions when so many of us can’t?

Turns out, there are a few things we can do to increase our likelihood of sticking to a resolution.

  1. Be Specific
    Some resolutions may seem simple enough, but they could actually be deceptively complex. A common resolution is to lose weight. Sounds simple enough, right? But it’s actually a pretty complicated lifestyle change.

    Losing weight likely entails starting a workout routine, changing eating habits, and it could include budgeting differently to accommodate different groceries. A better resolution would be to make it a goal to go for a walk 3 times a week, or to cut out fast food. Once walking becomes  a habit, then start adding in other changes that will help you reach your goal.

  2. Establish Your “Why”
    Making a resolution to quit smoking is great, but you have a higher chance of failing if you’re doing it for the wrong reasons. Quitting because it’s unhealthy and you know you “should” usually isn’t enough to get people to quit for good.

    Instead, acknowledge that quitting smoking would improve the quality of your daily life. You’ll be able to walk longer without getting winded, you’ll live longer and be able to spend more time with family, you’ll save money spent on cigarettes and can put it to better use – these “whys” are more likely to motivate you when a craving strikes.

  1. Embrace Missteps
    There’s one thing we all have in common – we all mess up from time to time. Part of maintaining a healthy mindset is knowing that a mistake is just a hiccup in the grand scheme of things.

    Going into a resolution knowing that there will be times when you don’t quite hit your short-term goal is a great way to increase your likelihood of success. By expecting missteps, you let go of some of that guilt, and in turn, you’re more likely to get back on track. When you don’t let yourself feel like a failure, you’re more likely to bounce back from slip-ups.

  2. Have an Accountability Partner
    It’s probably no surprise, but accountability partners are a great way to help you achieve your goals. This partner can actually take on many forms. It could be a friend, an exercise class, coworkers – just let someone know what you’re trying to achieve.

    By putting it out there, there’s more at stake. Setting a goal that no one knows about means no one knows if you don’t reach that goal. If many know what you’re trying to do, it makes it harder to cheat on that goal. Simply put, people don’t like to look like a failure.

    On top of that, if you find someone (or a group of people) who are experiencing the same struggles and successes with you, suddenly you’re on a journey together rather than being stranded on your own.

Remember, setting a goal to improve yourself physically is a great resolution, but it’s important to not neglect your mental well-being too. If one of your goals this year is to improve your mental health, Neurocore could be able to help. Neurocore Brain Performance Centers has a comprehensive approach and treatment for many conditions and their symptoms. The program incorporates lifestyle modifications regarding diet, exercise, and sleep and includes precision neurofeedback.

Ramptom, John. (2016, December 9). 8 Ways You Can Use Science to Make Your New Year’s Resolution Stick. Retrieved from