Achieve Your Resolutions with the Power of Habits!

by Shari Bennett-Speer, Assistant Manager Organizational Learning and Talent Development Division, Department of Human Resources

Did you make any New Year’s Resolutions this year? How about setting some healthy goals for yourself? In his book, “When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing,” Daniel Pink shares that the beginning of the year is a great time to make changes because it gives us a psychological push, inspiring us to take action, set goals, and make positive changes in our lives. 

So, what’s the best way to get these resolutions and goals to stick? 

We usually rely on willpower, and it turns out that willpower is actually a very small source of energy for us – and it quickly runs out. Research shows that if we use our willpower for one thing during the day, like staying calm during a stressful meeting, we don’t have much left to make the healthy choices we promised ourselves we’d make.  

So where do we find that energy? The answer is: we develop new habits! Habits involve creating consistent behaviors that become automatic for us. Rather than relying on sheer willpower, habits tap into the power of repetition and routine, rewiring our brains so we perform those positive actions effortlessly. We are, in fact, actually drawn to doing them rather than needing to push ourselves using willpower.

The video How to Create and Maintain Healthy Habits on the Department of Human Resources’ YouTube channel has much more on how to make the power of habits work for you so you can finally achieve those goals you’ve been promising yourself you’d meet!

If you want to focus on creating attainable goals, checkout HR’s two-part video about Goal Setting.

Regardless of the approach you take, we hope you find these resources helpful and wish you a successful new year!