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10 Tips To Mastering Resolutions: A Comprehensive Guide Backed by Science to Stick to Your New Year's Goals

goal setting new years resolutions resolutions

Setting a New Year's resolution is easy, but sticking to it can be a challenge. In fact, studies show that less than 25% of people actually stay committed to their resolutions after just 30 days, and only 8% accomplish them by the end of the year.

If you’re tired of setting goals and never achieving them, it's time to change your approach. In this article, we will provide you with practical tips and strategies to make sure you stick to your New Year's resolution and achieve your goals.

So, let's get started and make this year the year of success!

10 Tips To Mastering Resolutions: A Comprehensive Guide Backed by Science to Stick to Your New Year's Goals

1. Setting Realistic and Achievable Resolutions

In order to ensure that you stick to your New Year's resolution, it is crucial to set realistic and achievable goals. While it is admirable to dream big, setting resolutions that are too vague or unrealistic can set you up for failure from the start.

Instead, take some time to reflect on what is truly attainable for you within the given time frame. By setting smaller, achievable goals, you can build momentum and maintain motivation throughout the year.

2. Creating a Solid Plan of Action

Creating a solid plan of action is another crucial step to ensure that you stick to your New Year's resolution.

Once you have set realistic and achievable goals, it is important to outline the specific actions you need to take to reach those goals. This will help you stay focused and organized throughout the year.

3. Utilizing Tools and Resources for Support

Utilizing tools and resources for support is a key aspect of ensuring the success of your New Year's resolution.

In this digital age, there are numerous apps, websites, and communities that can provide guidance, motivation, and accountability.

4. Staying Accountable and Tracking Progress

One of the most effective ways to stick to your New Year's resolution is to hold yourself accountable and track your progress along the way.

5. Overcoming Obstacles and Staying Motivated

When it comes to sticking to your New Year's resolution, overcoming obstacles and staying motivated is crucial. Controlling your environment is key. For example if you are trying to lose weight and your house if full of junk food then no amount of will power is going to help you achieve this most common of New Year's Resolution goals.

6. Celebrating Milestones and Small Victories

As you embark on your journey to stick to your New Year's resolution, it's important to celebrate the milestones and small victories along the way.

7. Seeking Professional Assistance if Needed

If you find yourself struggling to stick to your New Year's resolution despite your best efforts, don't hesitate to seek professional assistance.

8. Reevaluating and Adjusting Resolutions if Necessary

As the year progresses, you may find that your initial resolution needs some tweaking.

9. Understanding the Science of Habit Formation

It's essential to recognize that sticking to resolutions involves rewiring your brain's habits.

10. Embracing the Power of Visualization

Scientific evidence supports the efficacy of visualization techniques in achieving goals.

Scientific Study of New Year's Resolutions

Researchers wanted to find out why some people were successful in keeping their promises for a long time, while others struggled. They followed these people for two years, kind of like being a friendly detective, watching and learning from them.

What they found was that most people, about 77%, could stick to their promises for at least one week. That's a good start, right? But, as time went on, only 19% of them could keep their promises for the full two years. That's like saying, from every 100 people, only 19 could finish the whole race they set for themselves.

The successful people shared some secrets. They used things like "stimulus control" (which means managing things around them), "reinforcement" (rewarding themselves), and "willpower" (basically, being really determined) more than the ones who couldn't keep their promises. These successful folks also found that having friends and family support them helped a lot, especially after the first 6 months.

Some strategies they used, like changing bad habits and gradually making changes, were like superheroes in helping them succeed. But, when they did mess up, it was usually because they felt they couldn't control themselves, they were too stressed, or they were feeling really down.

So, the big lesson is, if you want to achieve your goals for a long time, it helps to have a plan, be determined, and get support from your friends and family. And if you slip up (because everyone does sometimes), just get back on track and keep going! Source

Building Habits: The Simple Four-Step Process 

Understanding how habits form can be made easy by breaking it down into four simple steps: cue, craving, response, and reward. These steps are like the building blocks of every habit, forming a pattern that our brain follows every time.

The source of this is from Atomic Habits

  1. Cue - The Trigger:

    • The cue is like a signal that tells our brain to start a behavior.
    • It can be anything that predicts a reward, like our ancestors looking for food, water, or other rewards.
    • Today, we look for cues related to secondary rewards like money, fame, love, or personal satisfaction.
  2. Craving - The Motivation:

    • Cravings are the motivational force behind habits.
    • What we crave is not the habit itself but the change in our feelings it brings.
    • Cravings differ from person to person, and they're linked to a desire to change our internal state.
  3. Response - The Actual Habit:

    • The response is the habit we perform, whether it's a thought or an action.
    • It depends on our motivation and the effort required for the behavior.
    • A habit can only occur if we are capable of doing it.
  4. Reward - The End Goal:

    • Rewards are what we get at the end of a habit.
    • They satisfy our craving and teach our brain which actions are worth remembering.
    • Rewards serve two purposes: satisfying our desires and helping us learn from our actions.

Why Habits Work:

  • Satisfaction: Rewards satisfy our cravings and provide immediate contentment.
  • Learning: Rewards teach our brain which actions are useful and should be repeated in the future.

Key Takeaway:

  • If any of the four stages is missing or insufficient, a behavior won't become a habit.
  • Eliminate the cue, reduce the craving, make the behavior difficult, or have an unsatisfying reward, and the habit won't stick.
  • For a behavior to become a habit, it needs all four stages.

Making This Year Your Most Successful Yet

In conclusion, by regularly reevaluating and adjusting your resolutions throughout the year, you increase the chances of sticking to them and achieving your goals.


"Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible." – Tony Robbins

"Your goals are the roadmaps that guide you and show you what is possible for your life." – Les Brown


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