How to Make New Years Resolutions Last

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If you’re anything like me, New Years is a great time to take stock and determine how you want to completely transform every aspect of your life. (Or, at least, figure out how to exercise every day. …

If you’re anything like me, New Years is a great time to take stock and determine how you want to completely transform every aspect of your life. (Or, at least, figure out how to exercise every day. Or, you know, once a month.)

Here's a flowchart that tells you how to design New Year’s Resolutions according to the science of habit formation.

For more tips like this, see my posts on Linkedin http://linkd.in/1goZvGD or visit my website at http://charlesduhigg.com/.

More in: Education
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  • 1. NEW YEAR’S HOW TO Routine Leave your running shoes by the door. EH www.CharlesDuhigg.com L A piece of chocolate aw dr A half hour on Facebook Set your alarm an hour earlier. Find an exercise buddy. You don’t need ALL of these to make good on your New Year’s resolution. ONE is enough. An episode of Nashville After a few days, ask yourself: Do I crave this reward when I am exposed to the cue? Ye s Do you actually enjoy this reward? Ye s No o A RANDOM HOUSE TRADE PAPERBACK AND eBOOK O Reward But the more cues you test out, the faster you’ll find one that works. Choose a new reward. YOU’RE ON YOUR WAY TO CREATING A POWERFUL NEW HABIT! STEP 3 EXECUTE THE ROUTINE Routine Your cue reminds you of your routine. Your reward motivates you. Cue Reward Smokes Now execute! This year when I see THE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER— NOW IN PAPERBACK PO oR CRAVING F OR ENDORPH IN RUSH OR ACCOMPL ISH MENT N to work for you. What motivates you? eR Smokes Here’s how to apply it: POWER OF HABIT CHOOSE A REWARD itu Cue A habit is a 3-step neurological process. First, there’s a cue, something that tells your brain to go into automatic mode. Then there’s a routine. And finally, a reward, which helps your brain learn to crave the behavior. It’s a basic formula you can use to create—or break— habits of your own. Put the 2 What will remind you to go to the gym? Here’s how it works: Choose a cue, like leaving your running shoes by the door, then pick a reward— say, a piece of chocolate when you get home from the gym. That way, the cue and the reward become intertwined. Eventually, when you see the shoes, your brain will start craving the reward, which will make it easier to work out day after day. The best part? In a couple of weeks, you won’t need the chocolate at all. Your brain will come to see the workout itself as the reward. Which is the whole point, right? STEP PICK THE CUE H 1 BA TI STEP en Let’s say you want to hit the gym more regularly this year. How do you make that happen? Consider putting the habit loop to use. T eu C DESIGN A              RESOLUTION THAT LASTS COMMIT TO YOUR PLAN—IN WRITING. I will BEHAVIOR to get Studies show that the best way to implement a New Year’s resolution is to write it down as a formula. CUE in order REWARD . Post this plan where you will see it. Try it for a week. Thank us later. ,