We are creatures of habit. Between a third and half of our behaviour is habitual, according to research estimates. Unfortunately, our bad habits compromise our health, wealth and happiness.
On average, it takes 66 days to form a habit. But positive behavioural change is harder than self-help books would have us believe. Only 40% of people can sustain their new year’s resolution after six months, while only 20% of dieters maintain long-term weight loss.
Education does not effectively promote behaviour change. A review of 47 studies found that it’s relatively easy to change a person’s goals and intentions but it’s much harder to change how they behave. Strong habits are often activated unconsciously in response to social or environmental cues – for example, we go to the supermarket about 211 times a year, but most of our purchases are habitual.
With all this in mind, here are five ways to help you keep your new year’s resolutions – whether that’s taking better care of your body or your bank balance.