New Year, Evolving You: How to Create New Habits that Actually Stick

Entering a new year sparks a time for new beginnings and goal-setting. It’s a moment to pause, reflect on the past year, and set intentions for the year ahead. Ideating and adhering to goals and healthy habits is a journey that takes effort and discipline, but it’s also a rewarding process that leads to personal growth. So, how do you create new habits that actually stick? Consistency and commitment are key to transforming your resolutions into reality. Here are some tips to help keep you on track to achieve your goals in the new year. Often, you are your only limit standing in the way of accomplishing your goals. 

Reflect and Record

Make some time and space to sit down and reflect and journal about your journey over the past year. Think about all that you’ve accomplished and the goals you have for the new year. Write down anything that comes to mind. Journaling is a great way to organize your thoughts and goals, which is a pivotal part of creating change.   

Start with SMART

Once you have an idea of what you’d like to accomplish in the new year, it’s time to create a roadmap for how to bring these goals to life. When you set specific parameters for your goals, it’s easier to maintain your motivation, making it more likely that you’ll succeed. That’s where the SMART goal framework comes into play. The SMART acronym stands for: 

S – Specific: Your goals should be specific and clear. 

M – Measurable: Set ways to measure your progress.

A – Achievable: Create goals that are attainable. 

R – Relevant/Realistic: Ensure your goal aligns with your values, are set in a realistic timeframe, and that you have the right tools in place to set yourself up for success.

T – Time-bound: Set a deadline for achieving your goal.

Small Steps

Change takes time and patience. Not all new habits can be formed overnight. That’s why it’s important to start by setting and conquering small and achievable goals, and gradually work your way up to more challenging goals that take additional time and dedication.  For instance, if your goal is to read more, start with just ten pages a day. Once that becomes habitual, gradually increase the amount of pages. Building momentum with smaller victories sets the stage for more significant successes.

Consistency is Key

Consistency is a key foundation of habit formation. Establishing a routine and dedicating yourself to it—even on days when it’s hard to find the motivation—is crucial. Sometimes, showing up is the hardest step, but a pivotal part of sticking to a commitment and cultivating success. 

Rewire your Brain for Change

The brain has a remarkable ability to adapt and change. Practicing neuroplasticity exercises like meditation, learning new skills, visualization, physical exercise, and resting can all aid in the formation of new habits.  

Check-In with Yourself 

Although an important first step was reflecting and writing your goals down, it’s also important to check in with yourself along the way. A great way to do this is by journaling about your progress and anything that comes up during the process. This will serve as a support system and a way to externalize and visualize your thoughts.

Find Accountability Buddies

Sharing your goals with trusted friends or family members is a helpful way to create a support system and automatic accountability for yourself.  

Celebrate your Wins

You should be proud of yourself when you accomplish your goal and acknowledge when you have successfully created a new habit. Celebration is important for creating and implementing new habits. Cheers to you!


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