Making Changes That Stick

Have you wondered why well-intentioned, intelligent, motivated people cannot keep New Year’s resolutions?

I mean you had a reason for making the resolution.  There is something you want to change in your life that gives you pain. And that pain is not going away until you change.

Somewhere around 80% of New Year’s resolutions fail in the first month.  Only about 8% of people actually keep their resolutions. So know that you are not alone if your New Year's resolution has already gone by the wayside.

What is the secret to the people who manage to commit to change and actually follow through?

Well, I certainly don’t know all of the secrets, but here are a few that behavioral science can back up and that you can remember.

1.     Make the change a habit. This sounds easy, but it requires that you have a trigger and an action that follows that trigger that you can consistently do. For example, if you want to meditate every morning, tie it to something that you do every morning like brushing your teeth. Every time you brush your teeth, the next action you complete should be your meditation.

2.     Have support for your change. This doesn’t mean a nagging spouse or friend to remind you every time you screw up. Instead, this is someone who can in a way take the journey with you. If you want to begin a walking program, find a walking buddy. If you want to stop eating desserts, ask your dining companions to join you in your efforts. Get a workout buddy. Just team up with someone with similar goals.

3.     Remember your "Why". What is your reason for wanting to make the change in the first place? This should be something that is personal to you.  Not to make your significant other happy or because your doc told you to. But what will the change do for you?

Ask yourself these questions and write down your responses so that you can remind yourself when you are feeling uninspired:

a.     How will I feel when I make this change?


b.     What will I be able to be, do, or have because of this change?


c.     What impact will this change have on me and those I love?

Once you have a change that you really want to make for yourself, make it a habit, find support, and remind yourself of your why.

And if you need to know exactly what changes to make to your nutrition, exercise, and thought patterns to make sure you reduce your risk of a breast cancer recurrence, then I have the exact program for you.  Join THRIVE Beyond Breast Cancer.  You can learn more by clicking here.


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