Making New Habits Stick

Did you start the new year off with the best of intentions to wake up early, eat right, and exercise daily, but are already struggling to maintain your new routine? It’s normal to struggle with new habits, but there is also a lot of research we can learn from on how to make your resolution stick this year.

1. Focus on the process, not on the outcome

A lot of goals focus on the outcome- weight loss, books read, miles ran- but these kinds of goals don’t deliver results, behaviour changes do. And behaviour change is a process- so focus on the habits and routines needed to achieve your overall goal instead of the desired outcome.

2. Too Small to Fail

It’s not uncommon to make sweeping resolutions or set lofty goals for yourself, only to abandon them a few weeks later. James Clear, the author of Atomic Habits, suggests that we need to start small when adopting a new habit by picking a task that is meaningful enough to make a difference, but simple enough that you can get it done. So take a look at your overall goal, break it down to a small task, and build up from there.

3. Engage People Around You

Having other people involved in the process can keep you accountable even if your motivation wanes from time to time. Engagement can be either–  Active, where you inform your friends, partner or roommates who might be interested in and cultivate the habit together with them or Passive, where you let others know about your plans and having them morally support you. 

There are also a ton of online communities you can join if you don't have anyone in your life who shares your new goal, do a quick google search to find people with similar resolutions. If your goal is fitness related, join our Wolves on the Move Strava community to stay committed. 

4. Keep Track 

Tracking keeps you accountable for your habits. Every day where you successfully do your habit, give yourself a check. It’s very satisfying to do the checks every time you finish a habit! You can track your habits physically on a whiteboard or journal, or on your computer/device.

Here are some great habit trackers apps:

5. Abandon Perfection

Life happens and you are bound to skip/miss a day at some point. Be kind and patient with yourself and get back on track tomorrow. 


-Lindsey Wachter, R.Kin

Health and Wellness Promoter

Man eating from a plate, Student Health and Wellness logo in corner