Create Healthy Habit Goals

January 03, 2017
women writes down ideas in a notebook while smiling

How many times have you made a goal, only to not achieve it?

If you’re like most of us, it’s a lot of times. In fact, most of us create goals only to let them go within weeks of their start. But this year can be different.

Dr. Gail Matthews, a psychology professor at Dominican University in California, set out to find out what’s the best way to stick to goals. She recruited 267 students and broke them into 5 groups:

  • Group 1: They were asked to think about goals they hoped to achieve within a 4 week period
  • Group 2 to 5: These groups were asked to write down their goals
  • Group 3: In addition to writing down their goals, they were also asked to write action commitments for each goal. (Smaller steps that would help to achieve the goal.)
  • Group 4: Had to write down their goals, break them down into action commitments and also share those commitments with a friend.
  • Group 5: Had to do everything Group 4 had to do plus they had to send weekly updates on their progress to their friends

And the results? Of those completing the study, less than half of Group 1 had completed any goal or was half-way towards completing the goal.

  • 62% of Group 4 accomplished their goals or were at least half way there!
  • 76% of Group 5 accomplished their goals or were at least half way there!

What does that tell you?

  1. Write down your goals. Break them up into actionable commitments.
  2. Share your goals with a friend to help keep you on task.

And to get you off to a great start with your healthy habit goals, download our goal tracker tool below. Start with 3 goals (too many can be overwhelming and not achievable at one time) and 2 action items for each goal. For example, if your goal is to eat healthier this year, your action items might be to bring lunch to work 4 days a week and to spend two hours planning weekly snacks/dinners every Sunday. Before you know it, you’ll be in a healthier and happier groove!

Download Your Goal Tracker