3 Tips For Building Better Habits | achs.edu

Dec 10, 2020 11:30:00 AM | self care 3 Tips For Building Better Habits | achs.edu

Learn some tools for achieving your goals as you work to develop new positive habits.

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As the new year approaches, more and more people are thinking about what we would like to change in 2021. According to Forbes, less than 25% of people actually stay committed to their New Year's resolutions after just 30 days [1]. If you have tried building a habit before but couldn't keep it up, keep reading to to learn some tips on building positive habits.

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Whether you want to eat healthier, be more active, or even start your own business, here are some goal setting tips to get you started.

1. Write down your goals

According to Psychology Today, writing down your goals is the first step towards actually achieving them because it makes them concrete and motivational [4]. It sounds simple and easy, but it can make a big difference. When writing your goals, try to make them as specific as possible.

For example, if your goal is to add more movement into your day, consider these questions: [4]

  • By doing what?
  • When?
  • How?
  • With Whom?

You might decide to go on a 15 minute walk before work every morning with a family member, using extra time you gained from getting up 15 minutes earlier.

2. Create an accountability system

Getting a friend or two to hold you accountable for your goal is a great way to keep you on track with your progress. When you tell someone else about it, it becomes much more real! Your friends will also be able to encourage you and cheer you on as you work towards your goal.

On the flip side, you shouldn't necessarily post every small achievement on social media. "When we share our big and important goals with other people, as soon as we receive social acknowledgement and social recognition, our brains get tricked into thinking that we’ve already accomplished that goal" [2] and we are less likely to actually continue pursuing the goal.

3. Focus on small successes

When we set a goal, we often have huge expectations and become easily discouraged when we don't quickly reach our goal. "Success can be found when we start to mark and celebrate our small wins" [2] and these small wins will then snowball into reaching bigger goals.

"Learning to recognise small wins for what they are is a benefit that can also help us to overcome frustration, setbacks and disappointment" [3] and the dopamine release when we recognize small win after small win can also help with positive habit forming, according to Calm Moment.


New Years Goal Setting Resources

Do you want a little help getting set up for success in order to building some positive habits in the upcoming year? ACHS has two great free opportunities that might interest you:

  • New Year Intentions: A Self Care Ritual

    Did you know that those who write their goals and intentions down are much more likely to succeed in their goals? Do you know why New Year resolutions often do not stick? We will explore this concept along with mindfulness practices to inspire your New Year. Join us for an hour of guided self-care with ACHS Graduate Student Jennifer Langsdale.

    Jennifer will guide you to explore your Sankalpa for the New Year. Sankalpa is a yogic term that describes a deep rooted intention behind your goals & dreams that creates a foundation to your happiness and well-being. A short breathing practice and guided visualization will be offered. Participants will want to have a journal or something to record their intention writing. Feel free to share your goals as well in the chat as we work to inspire one another. Sign up here.
  • Healthy New Year: Foundations of Wellness with Abbey Skinner

    Looking for a fresh and healthy start to the New Year? This 4-part webinar series is designed just for you! Topics discussed include: Water, Sleep, Food, & Movement - creating positive habits in each of these categories will set you up for a healthy, vibrant and happy you.

    Each week, you’ll walk away knowing the benefits and how-to of each topic as well as action steps you can implement immediately to achieve wellness. We’ll even have check-ins and milestones to help you reach your goals. Sign up here.

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Disclaimer: This blog may contain affiliate links. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.” 

This article is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to treat, diagnose, cure, or prevent disease. This article has not been reviewed by the FDA. Always consult with your primary care physician or naturopathic doctor before making any significant changes to your health and wellness routine. 


[1] Prossack, A. (2019, January 01). This Year, Don't Set New Year's Resolutions. Retrieved December 09, 2020, from https://www.forbes.com/sites/ashiraprossack1/2018/12/31/goals-not-resolutions/

[2] Smith, R., About the authorRob Smith is a researcher for The Audacious Project, & Hofler, S. (2019, June 18). How to make your small wins work for you. Retrieved December 09, 2020, from https://ideas.ted.com/how-to-make-your-small-wins-work-for-you/

[3] Griffey, H. (2020, September 23). Why celebrating small wins can help you to feel more motivated. Retrieved December 09, 2020, from https://www.calmmoment.com/wellbeing/why-celebrating-small-wins-can-help-you-to-feel-more-motivated/

[4] Price-Mitchell, M. (2018, March 14). Goal-Setting Is Linked to Higher Achievement. Retrieved December 09, 2020, from https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-moment-youth/201803/goal-setting-is-linked-higher-achievement

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