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How to create new habits

What's the secret to making your resolutions stick?

A group of young men and women laugh as they walk through the bush with backpacks
A group of young men and women laugh as they walk through the bush with backpacks

It's no surprise that hastily-imagined New Year's resolutions often fall by the wayside come February. So what's the secret to making your resolutions stick?

Recent research tells us that new habits are created after daily repetition for 10 weeks which suggests that the key to changing habits and achieving resolutions is to make a thorough action plan.

So, just how do we go about this? And how do we ensure these habits stick?

nib foundation partner, Hello Sunday Morning, suggests using a 13-month year to set, prepare for, and achieve your goals. Here are some simple tips for you to try.

1. Get started this year

Use December as a starting point for 2017 by reviewing your successes and challenges. Be honest about where you tripped up - this is the best way to motivate you for the future.

2. Create motivating, complementary and realistic goals

Spend some time contemplating what you would love to achieve in the New Year. Try setting one big goal that will define your year, and two or three supporting goals that can be used as check-points on the way to your big one. For example, your goal could be to see 52 Sunday morning sunrises next year. To help you get there, you'll need to live a certain way each week, especially on a Saturday night. These smaller habits should become second nature if you're persistent and will be big motivators on your way to a much longer journey.

3. Track your progress

Stick to your plan by tracking your progress in a way that feels right for you. Whether it's writing checkpoints down on your calendar or listing your goals, set a weekly time when you're likely to always be able to check in on how you're tracking. Sunday is a good day to do that. This will allow you to celebrate all your successes, whether small or large, with the aim of exciting rather than overwhelming you. You may also like to use these as opportunities to reward yourself. Additionally, it will help you remain focused, which is one of the most challenging parts of changing your habits.

Have any other secrets or tips?

If you have your own secrets or tips on achieving your goals and hacking your habits, let us know by posting your pictures to social media using #hellosundaymorning. While you're there, be sure to check out what others are doing to make their 2017 the best year yet!