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The Science of Your 2020 Resolutions

Before you make yet another resolution this New Year’s, we’ve gathered some information to help you increase your chances of sticking with it!

Photo: YavYav / Shutterstock

“A new year, a new you.” No pressure, right? Every year as we approach the end of the calendar we are pressured to think of what we should do differently or better with our lives in the year ahead. Many of us have fallen into the New Year’s resolution game but how often are we successful? Some estimates show that less than 10% of New Year’s resolutions end up actually being achieved. But how can you give yourself a fighting chance to be among those 10% of people who follow through on their resolutions? Science has a few insights into how you can better your odds.

There is a science to New Year’s resolutions, why they tend to fail and how you can make yours work for you.  

Most resolutions are simply too big or vague: lose weight, eat healthy, make more money. These may sound great but without breaking them up into steps and planning the “how,” they may not be practical.

If you want to make a lifestyle change you need to start smaller — you need to start with your daily habits.  

According to studies by B.J. Fogg and Charles Duhigg, there are three scientific steps to creating a new habit: 

You MUST pick a small action
You MUST attach the new action to a previous habit
You MUST make the new action EASY to do for at least the first week

Photo By Shutterstock/ Kenary820

Look at your life and your habits and pick small and manageable things to focus on: take the stairs instead of the elevator at work if you want to move your body more; set a bedtime alarm for yourself every night if you want to get more sleep; leave reusable grocery bags in your car if you want to use fewer plastic products. Small changes built onto existing habits quickly turn into new habits, and these incremental changes in behavior can have a surprisingly big impact in your life over time.  

All of us here at Burnett & Williams wish you and yours a happy and healthy 2020, filled with positive change and healthy habits!