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How to make achievable New Year’s resolutions

It’s that time of year where many of us think about setting a goal or resolution for the year ahead. It will come as no surprise that keeping a new year’s resolution can be tricky for most people.

Fortunately, there are scientifically proven strategies that can be used to help people better realize their goals. Here are some simple, evidence-based tips to help you stay on track:


These are gentle reminders that work to influence the choices available to a person at the point of decision-making, so as to make it easier to comply with the desired behaviour. Try connecting with a friend or family member, telling each other your goals and committing to giving each other nudges to stick to them.


Electronic messages such as emails, texts and phone notifications will provide you with a series of prompts or reminders until the completed task is done. Set these up to get you started on your goal, and if it’s something ongoing like exercising twice a week, make sure these reminders occur regularly to prompt you.

For 2021, as the pandemic continues, a great goal to set is developing a plan for if you develop a serious illness. Plan Well Guide is a free online tool that focuses on helping people make an advance medical care plan and uses these evidence-based practices to help people realize their goals.

The benefits of making your medical care plan in advance are that you are more likely to get the medical care that is right for you if you develop a serious illness, like COVID pneumonia, and you and your family will have greater peace of mind. Find more information at

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