How To Stick To A Resolution For Good

The Challenge: You can’t stick to resolutions (diets, exercise regiments, a book project) you know would make you happier.
The Science: You CAN make a change and transform your habits!
The Solution  Follow this one snappy formula and reap huge benefits.

Research shows that 50-60% of individual happiness is determined by biological factors and our life circumstances. At first, this may feel like a massive existential slap in the face. However, the good news is that the lion´s share of our well-being lies in our own hands! Happiness doesn’t just happen to us, we have a say in it! And a lot of our well-being has to do with the choices, habits, and resolutions we make. We intuitively know what is good for us, it’s just a question of sticking to it!

Some more good news: All we need is some enthusiasm and some determination (and sometimes a bit of sisu). William James (channeled by the esteemed director of the UPenn Master of Applied Positive Psychology program, James Pawelski) instructs the following:

  1. Start strong: Make that resolution, stick it on your mirror, in your car, on your phone, or your computer, tell your friends, and shout it out to the world. You have a resolution and you will stick to it!
  2. No exceptions: Seize every possible opportunity to reinforce the new habit. On a diet? Throw out your ice cream! Need to exercise? Buy that super expensive one-year pass you can’t exchange.
  3. Always act: Do not deviate from your resolution before the habit is securely established. Keep at it, no matter what.
  4. Practice it daily: Repeat. Be consistent. This is how you ingrain your habits and change your life, folks!

So, choose your aim and SNAP* to it like a boss!

We would love to hear your success stories on establishing new habits and offer this space to share our support as you strive toward your goals. Group support (whether virtual or in person) can often work miracles.

*A special thank you to two very special men: Dr. James Pawelski from UPenn for coining the superb ‘snapcronym’ and [Dr. in the making] Bob Easton for the image. You are both positively adored!

Emilia Lahti
Emilia Lahti (M.Sc., MAPP) is a researcher whose work revolves around understanding how individuals summon strength in the face of extreme adversity and come out of hardships with a newly discovered sense of purpose and adaptability. Emilia studied positive psychology at the University of Pennsylvania under Dr. Martin Seligman, the founder of the field. Through her current PhD work on the Finnish construct of sisu (denoting extraordinary mental toughness and determination), Emilia seeks to create practical, empowering solutions that alleviate human suffering and increase well-being on a global scale.
Boost of hands-on inspiration sent to your inbox

Join 2,000+ people who receive FulfillmentDaily digest–our curated newsletter of personal development tips on happiness, productivity, relationships, and more.

Subscription Form