Want Your New Year’s Resolution to Stick? Try This.

Did you know that only about 8% of people keep their New Year’s resolutions? Just because the year on the calendar changes doesn’t mean your habits will necessarily change. That is, unless you go about it differently. Traditionally a resolution is just a stake in the ground – “I’m going to stop smoking” or “I’m going to exercise four times a week.” Sometimes we make bold statements (with good intentions, BTW) and hang onto them with nothing but high hopes.

The “how” not the “what”

The miss is to stop with a simple statement; you may know the “what” but not the “how.” To make an intentional change, you need to thoroughly think through the process of that change. In addition to saying “I’m going to exercise four times a week,” think about what that really looks like. Does that mean you’ll have to get up early certain days of the week? Will you need to get ready at the gym? Will you need to block that time on your calendar? Coordinate car pool and bus picks up with your neighbors or spouse? Will you have to change your evening routine in order to get to bed early? When you are intentional and clear on the process for the change (i.e. the “how”) you set yourself up for success.

Purpose reminders

Along the way expect speed bumps; they are a test of how bad you want it. Like mornings when you want to hit snooze, or when you get a really good story going in your head as to why you don’t need to hit the gym today, you can put it off until tomorrow. We can sell ourselves pretty well – right? That’s when you look back at your purpose, your “why” for this change, this resolution, and get the hell up and go – and do it.   Remind yourself of a line I love from my recent podcast with Rorke Denver — “you can do hard!” You have to anchor your change with a purpose.

Tell People

To really make your resolution stick, choose someone (or several people) who will hold you accountable – who will help you. Share with them your resolution and the “why” behind it, and give them permission to hold you accountable. If you don’t tell anyone about your change, it’s easier to not follow through.

Game Changer Takeaway

By the second week of February, 80% of resolutions have already failed. Just look at the amount of people in the gym the first week of January compared to the first week of February! To be one of the ones who makes it, try these three tactics and remember – “you can do hard.”


The Molly Fletcher Company inspires leaders, teams and organizations to kick-start growth. A keynote speaker and author, Molly draws on her decades of experiences working with elite athletes and coaches as a sports agent, and applies them to the business world. Her new book, Fearless At Work, is now available. Sign up here to receive our monthly newsletter and subscribe to the Game Changers with Molly Fletcher podcast on iTunes.