Photo by Hannah Olinger

It’s important to frequently self-analyze to assess whether or not the habits you have are working for you. Overall happiness is directly related to our habits. After all, the behaviors we perform everyday make us who we are. But, sometimes keeping good habits is easier said than done. In fact, it’s reported that about 85% of New Year’s Resolutions fail.

There are some things you can do to set yourself up for success and end up having a better chance of having your desired habit stick. Planning ahead will help set you up for success with your desired habit. If you’re able to foresee some of your possible stumbling blocks, you can have a plan ready to fight against them.

As an example, let’s say that your goal is to make it a habit to eat more fresh foods and smaller portions overall. Think about situations when doing so would be difficult and come up with a plan. For example, if you want to eat less processed foods and more fresh foods, keep less processed foods available. This way you won’t be as tempted if the foods you’re trying to stay away from aren’t in the cupboard. Similarly, if you want to be in the habit of eating more fresh foods, that’s what you should have readily available. Meal planning would make sense here too. If in the past, you like to reach for potato chips as a snack, have an alternative ready, like carrot sticks or sliced bell peppers.

In order to combat the smaller portions part of the desired habit, some ways you can think ahead to success would be to use a smaller plate. Or even the plastic plates with dividers will help you keep the portions regulated. In order to help you predict what some of the upcoming challenges might be, it may be advantageous to make a list. First write down your desired habit.

Then, think about the upcoming week. Try to put yourself in the scenarios that will likely come up, related to your goal and write them down. Are you planning to attend a party? Visitors coming into town? Are you working more or less hours than usual? Anything out of the ordinary might be a stumbling block unless you plan ahead. Write out a plan for the scenarios that may prove challenging for you and your new habit. Like, bringing your own food to the party. With a little forethought, you can combat some of your possible upcoming stumbling blocks and set yourself up for success in following through with your good habit.


Burnout recovery specialist, intuitive, and physician Dr. Veronica Anderson teaches high-performing professional women how to make successful career, health, and life transformations by overcoming challenges and developing resilience. She is the author of three bestselling books and splits her time between Bucks County, Pennsylvania, and Harlem, New York City, with her husband and two dogs, Artemis and Apollo.