Could a new habit make your New Year’s Resolutions a reality?

Most people do not fulfill their New Year resolutions. Here is a different approach to New Year resolutions that focuses on habits. The habits we form dictate the way we spend most of our time. New Year Resolutions time

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The importance of habits

Essentially, most people make New Year resolutions to change themselves or their situation for the better. To make a change in the way you life you need to form new habits. According to Neale Martin (author of “Habit”), the habitual mind controls about 95% of human behaviour, and people tend to do the same daily things 45% of the time (often while not even thinking about it). Others claim that it takes about 20-30 days to form a new habit.

The Habit audit

With the importance of habits in mind, consider the following exercise:

1. Divide your life into different areas

(eg- health, education, spiritual, relationships, career, etc).

2. For each of these areas, what are your meaningful habits?

(eg- under 'health' you might have – exercise 4 times a week, eat 3 pieces of fruit a day, etc)

  • "Curious things, habits. People themselves never knew they had them." Agatha Christie

3. For each habit record – why do I have this habit?

(ie- motivation for the habit. For example - Good health enables me to be more effective, and participate in more things.)

4. Are there any habits that I should be stopping? Why?

  • “Stopping a bad behaviour can be more productive than doing something right” (Goldsmith & Reiter)
  • "A change in bad habits leads to a change in life". Jenny Craig

5. Are there any new habits I should be starting? Why?

  • "Good habits are worth being fanatical about". John Irving

6. Prioritise your habits.

Place an A,B or C next to each of the habits you feel you should keep or start. A represents ‘must do’, B represents ‘should do’, C represents ‘ nice to do’.

Forming New Year resolutions

Habits and New Year Now let the results from your habit audit feed your objectives for the upcoming year. Further Tips:

  • It is also a good idea to only focus on building one or two new habits at a time.
  • It often takes around 20 to 30 days to form a new habit. In other words the first 20 to 30 days are the hardest ... so hang in there.


  • “Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.” (Jim Rohn quotes)
  • “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” (Aristotle, Philosopher)

More to Read 4 indicators that you may be wasting your time with New Year’s Resolutions The Power of Habit - best selling book by Charles Duhigg All the best for new year from the CraveTime Team.