For many, starting a resolution to celebrate the New Year is not merely a “tradition” but a promise. It may be as simple as going on a diet, exercising every day, or even wake up earlier than you used to. No matter what your purpose is, the end goal is always the same – to form new and good habits. However, starting a New Year’s Resolution is easier than keeping up with it. Some, only last a week and end up going back to their old and damaging habits. 

How can you leave old habits behind and follow through with your New Year’s Resolution? 

Break it down into smaller steps

The first step is to break down your resolution into smaller steps. Do you want to quit smoking? Then quit it one cigarette at a time. Depriving yourself of having a smoke in one go will do you more harm than good. If you used to have 5 cigarettes a day, start with having 4 cigarettes per day in the first week. Then, tone it down to 3 the next week, until you reach the week where you will only be having 1 cigarette per day. 

Aside from breaking vices, you can also do this when trying to break bad habits. For instance, you always wake up late in the morning. Do not force yourself to start waking up at 4 am starting tomorrow just because a motivational video you just watched told you so. Instead, if you used to wake up at 10 am daily, then wake up at 9 am tomorrow and do that for a week. Then the next week, wake up at 8 am. Do this until you reach the week where you will be waking up at 4 am every day.

Remember that trying to change a habit comes in a series of steps, and it is not something that you can do overnight. Break it down into simpler steps and start with one small step at a time. 

Have a weekly goal

Another thing you can do to keep your New Year’s Resolution is to have a weekly goal. Doing so will let you have something to look forward to at the end of the week, and something to keep you motivated as each week starts. 

Set up a motivation board

To follow through with your New Year’s Resolution, it is important to have a motivation board. This board can be as simple as a corkboard filled with your goals written on a memo pad, or motivational quotes to help you push through with your goals. Whenever you are feeling down or when you find it hard to keep your New year’s Resolution, look at this board and remind yourself of the things you want to accomplish.

Reward yourself

Breaking your New year’s Resolution is easier than keeping it, which is why you must have something to help you stay on track. Rewarding yourself is one great thing you can do in order to remain on the right path. Whenever you have gone through a month without breaking your New Year’s Resolution, then you can reward yourself with something that will motivate you to do even better. This may be a trip to the spa, seeing the latest movie, or simply treating yourself to a nice dinner. 

Do it for 21 days

Before something becomes a habit, you must do it for 21 days. If you are working on keeping a New year’s Resolution, then you must do your best to truly stay at it for the next 21 days. Do it without fail, and watch it become integrated into your system and get formed as a new habit. 

Always go back to your “why”

Last but not least, follow through with your New year’s Resolution by going back to your “why”. Whenever you feel like straying, always ask yourself “why”. “Why do I want to break this habit?” “Why do I want to be better?” “Why do I need to do this?” Oftentimes, going back to your why will snap you back into reality and remind you that this is something you need to do, maybe not just for you but for the people you love too.