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New Year, Same Me – resolutions and habits to achieve success


Did you know?

With an annual epidemic of failed New Year Resolutions, it’s time to make one that will stick. Out of 2,000 British adults surveyed, 63 % failed to achieve their New Year Resolutions1. A staggering 43% failed to even make it past the first month.

How are your resolutions going so far?


Two of the most prominent reasons for the lack of sustained success were a loss of motivation and a lack of commitment. From the neuropsychology of habit, we know that individuals can become stuck in the habit loop whereby a cue, routine, reward cycle is enforced and becomes an automatic behaviour or response. Becoming aware of our bad habits in order to form new behaviours therefore becomes increasingly difficult2.

Whether you’re resolution is going well, or your already struggling to see the finish line, here are some top tips from all of us at Cognacity to help you see your goals through. Rooted in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, awareness of the following steps helps to increase the likelihood of achieving your New Years resolution2,3:

Breaking the habit

  • Look at the task as a whole and then break down into smaller bite size piece
  • Achieving one small win has a domino effect in which an individual is more likely to incite another

The Theory of marginal gains

  • The aggregation of marginal gains from these small wins leads to significant and sustained performance improvements
  • Aim for 1 percent, manageable improvements in multiple areas to see a difference by the end of the year

Mind over matter

  • Perception and mindset play a huge roll in maintaining motivation
  • For example, viewing mistakes as learning opportunities instead of set backs


  1. ComRes Poll published by BUPA (2005).
  2. Graybiel, A. M. (2008). Habits, rituals, and the evaluative brain. Annu. Rev. Neurosci.31, 359-387.
  3. Beck, J. S. (1995). Cognitive therapy: Basics and beyond. New York7 Guilford Press

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