Four Steps to Create Resolutions with Lasting Change in 2018


By Cindy Smith

Tradition in the United States is to make resolutions with the beginning of a new year. It is thought that the tradition began with the ancient Babylonians over 4,000 years ago to keep them in good standing with the gods. For many, making resolutions are just a fun tradition with no intention of keeping them, most likely even forgetting what was resolved by March. However, for some, January is a time to reflect on the past year and determine to step up their game in the new year.

What exactly is a New Year’s resolution? defines resolutions as a “decision or determination of purpose.” In other words, a decision that determines a course of action. A goal, on the other hand, is the achievement or desired result of the course of action. Goals help maintain a person’s resolution.

When setting New Year’s resolutions, it is best to make short-term goals to keep the resolution all year. For instance, a resolution might be to exercise more. To keep that resolution, it would be helpful to set a goal of going to a spin class twice a week and yoga once; or possibly set a goal of running a marathon and begin training.

According to a study by the University of Scranton, 45 percent of Americans make resolutions and of those, only 46 percent keep them after six months. The study found two variables that determined the success of keeping resolutions. First, prior to changing, successful resolvers rated themselves as more prepared to change. Second, successful resolvers expressed higher levels of confidence to change.

Here are four questions for setting New Year resolutions that will create a lasting change:

  1. Why?

Define the purpose of the resolution. Why do you want to create the particular change going forward? When the resolution connects to a deep emotion, nothing can stop you.


  1. What?

Determine the steps you will need to take to develop a new habit,which are action steps you will take each day to engrain the new habit. Set short-term goals to help measure your success along the way. Your success will be determined by your daily agenda.


  1. Where?

Create an environment for success. For example, diffuse an essential oil in your office to help stay focused and alert. Write your resolutions on your bathroom mirror with a dry erase marker to set your mind each morning.

  1. Who?

Surround yourself with people who support and challenge you. Jim Rohn states, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” Make sure to spend time with people who are encouraging you in your resolutions. Encouragement breeds confidence and, as stated above, one of the variables of success is a higher level of confidence.


I would love to hear some your New Year’s resolutions and be part of your support. Post your resolutions on my Facebook page,, private message me, or email me:


Happy New Year!

Cindy is a Certified Integrative Wellness Coach and Personal Trainer for professional women. She has been helping women achieve their health and fitness goals local and abroad for the past 15 years. For a free consultation,
contact Cindy at



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