Three Hacks for Turning Your New Year’s Resolutions into Permanent Healthy Habits

Guest Blog from Personal Trainer Paige Johnson

Is your New Year’s resolution related to getting healthy this year? Many people commit to getting fit, eating healthier, building muscle, or losing weight at the start of a new year, but a large percentage of those who do don’t follow through and meet their goals. Instead of being one of the many who throws in the towel on your resolution this year, implement these three hacks to turn your hopes for the new year into lifelong healthy habits that stick.

  • Plan to Succeed

Everyone has heard the phrase, “Failing to plan is planning to fail,” yet many people don’t embrace the power of planning in working towards their goals. It’s not enough to have a desire to get healthier or lose weight; you must set measurable goals with incremental check-ins and create a roadmap for getting to the finish line.

There are dozens of planning methodologies, and one isn’t necessarily better or worse than the next. Different planning strategies work better for some than others, so experiment until you find the right tools that suit your lifestyle. From habit- and goal-tracking apps to task management tools, digital calendars, and good old-fashioned paper-and-pencil tools, there’s no shortage of options for planning your days and your path to success.

Whatever method you choose, document your goals and your current baseline (your current weight, for example, if you’re aiming to gain or lose a few pounds). Use your planning tools to set aside time each day or week to workout, jog, plan your meals for the next few days, or whatever tasks are necessary to push you further to the finish line.

  • Be Accountable

If you’re like most people, holding yourself accountable isn’t the easiest thing to do. That’s why enlisting the help of outside forces is often the key to sticking to your resolutions. Like planning, there are several strategies you can use to build in some outside accountability. For instance, you might enlist the help of a friend to serve as your accountability partner. Ask them to check in with you each day or once each week to motivate you to stay on track. It’s harder to admit to someone else that you didn’t visit the gym one time all week than it is to admit to yourself.

Better yet, find someone who can join you in your adventure to adopt a healthier lifestyle. Get a jogging buddy to run with you every morning before work. Sign up to run a marathon this spring with a friend or partner. A dog can serve as a rather effective accountability partner, too. Think about it: your dog isn’t likely to let you get away with skipping your evening run when it means he’s missing out on his exercise.

  • Stay Positive

The worst thing that can happen on your journey to developing lifelong healthy habits is to lose your mojo, your positive attitude. If you’re striving to lose weight and the scale doesn’t seem to budge after a few weeks of an intense workout regimen, it’s easy to get discouraged.
Rather than let minor setbacks or plateaus trick you into giving up on your goals, plant motivational and inspirational encouragement throughout your life. How? Find some inspiring quotes about health and stick them to your refrigerator and your office cubby. Make a vision board and hang it in your office or home.

Even subtle cues, such as storing your new jogging shoes by the door can provide the slight nudge you need to keep working towards your ideal self. Connect with a community of like-minded people who support and encourage one another. When you’re feeling down, read success stories from others who have taken the same journey.

Giving up on your New Year’s resolutions may sometimes seem like the easy way out, but you’ll almost always regret it later. When you implement these tricks, giving up becomes more difficult, and you’ll be able to stick with it long enough to turn your New Year’s resolutions into healthy habits that stick for life.

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Jess Riffle