Make Your Resolutions Last

Setting specific action triggers can give your goals a better chance next year

Why aren’t your resolutions working?

New Year’s resolutions are goals, and motivation psychology shows that goals alone tend not to work well. Deliberative goals are thwarted by the more impulsive part of your brain, which implements automatic and habitual behaviours. To give them a better chance, you can treat goals as little programs, fostering new automatic behaviours. Goals need to be specific statements, at best formulated in an if-then format: which action trigger should lead to which specific action.

Be SMART When Making Goal

To be effective goals should be:






Benefits of SMART Goals

SMART goals help to give you an objective you are able to identify strengths and weaknesses. This objective acts as a guiding light, providing you with a clear direction to focus your efforts. By setting a goal, you are giving yourself a sense of purpose and motivation to succeed. When you know where the goal line is, you'll want to work hard to meet or even surpass it. A good SMART goal, while attainable, will also be challenging and force you out of your comfort zone, pushing you to grow and develop.

A SMART Goals Example

A SMART goals template:

"I will [your goal here] by [how you will do the goal]. I will know I am making progress because [how you will measure the goal] for [time goes here].”


"I will reduce my anxiety attacks to three times a week or less by using anxiety management techniques I learn in therapy when I’m feeling anxious. I will do this for the next month and track my progress in my journal