Steps to Succeed in 2024: Ditch Resolutions, Embrace Habits!

Josiah Nang-Bayi, MD
10 Min Read

It’s almost a new year, which means New Year’s resolutions are just around the corner. As tempting as it is to make bold declarations about reinventing yourself in 2024, we all know most resolutions fall flat by February. This year, try a different approach focused on forming life-changing habits rather than setting lofty goals.

Sustainable growth happens through small, consistent actions compounded over time. By ditching generic resolutions and instead embracing the power of habits, you can create lasting positive change in 2024. Here are actionable steps for setting yourself up to succeed through the transformational power of tiny daily practices in 2024

Reflect First, Settle on One Growth Area

Before planning 2024 goals, spend time in self-reflection first. Review how 2023 went for you across all areas – health, relationships, career, personal growth, etc. Identify 1-2 key places you’d like to experience meaningful change in 2024 through new habits. Don’t pile on too many aspirations at once. Choose just one foundational area to focus your time and energy.

Maybe you want to improve your physical well-being. Or perhaps less stress and more mindfulness is the target. Financial stability, career advancement, and relationship connections are common focuses too. Whatever your growth area, narrow it down to just one habit change for now. Consistency beats trying to improve everything at once.

Pick Your Habit (Not Your Goal)

Next, choose the specific habit, not the end goal, that you’ll commit to building. For example, if better health is your intention, forget about trying to lose a ton of weight right away. Instead, start with a supportive habit like daily morning walks, home workouts or meal prepping weekly.

If career growth is your focus, don’t stress over a promotion. Develop skills, network and research opportunities daily instead. When choosing habits, ensure they serve your growth area but aren’t too overwhelming to maintain daily. Start small – you can always evolve the habit later.

Create Your Implementation Plan

Now create a written plan for executing your chosen habit. Outline the what, when, where, and how to set yourself up for consistency and accountability. Be specific:

– What exact habit have you chosen and what frequency makes sense to start?

– When exactly will you incorporate it each day/week? Morning? Evening? Schedule it.

– Where will you need to be to ensure you follow through? Home? Office? Gym?

– How can you get set up for habit success? What prep or supports do you need?

Having clarity around the habit logistics will help turn good intentions into reality. Post your plan somewhere visible as a constant reminder. Share it with supportive friends too.

Start Small, Then Expand

When starting a new habit, begin with a small manageable interval you can handle before expanding the duration once it sticks. Maybe just 5 minutes of meditation or $10 automatic savings to begin. Build up your habit strength slowly rather than pushing hard out the gates.

Like any muscle built over time, stick with short habit sessions to start, then progressively increase frequency, length, and challenge. Before you know it, your habit will feel second nature. Be patient with yourself as your habitual capacity develops.

Schedule Habits for Consistency

Treat your new habit like an important calendar appointment. Actually, block off time for it in your schedule and set reminders. Habits require proactive consistency, not wishful thinking. If it’s not scheduled, it likely won’t happen. So book it in.

Start by scheduling your habit sessions in the same consistent time slot daily or weekly when willpower is strongest. Habit stacking – pairing a new habit with an existing consistent behavior – can also help build routines.

 Plan Around Obstacles

Inevitably obstacles will arise that could knock your habit off track – busy weeks, travel, stress, or lack of motivation. Anticipate what might get in the way and proactively plan countermeasures.

Maybe you do the habit first thing before checking emails. Or pack your workout gear when traveling. Have backup prepped meals if too swamped to cook. Create if/then plans for habit success when willpower dips. Don’t let stumbles stop your progress.

Have An Accountability Partner

Share your habit goal with supportive friends, family and coworkers. Social accountability helps motivate you to stay consistent, especially on days when internal drive wanes. Even if you slip up, their encouragement gets you back on track faster.

Connect with like-minded people actively working to build habits within the same arena. Join online groups, take classes, and engage with role models too. A community elevates your experience.

Old Habits – New Habits signpost in a desert road background

Other Tips

Use Tracking Apps and Journals

Monitoring your habit progress via journaling or apps like Way of Life, Habitshare or Streaks provides useful data and motivation to keep your habit streak going. It also uncovers patterns around when willpower struggles emerge so you can prepare.

Tracking makes your incremental progress visible. Recording another successful habit session gives your brain positive feedback. Milestones like 30 days in a row become celebrated achievements. Measurement drives results.

Reward Small Wins

Speaking of motivation, self-rewarding provides some of the strongest reinforcements for repeating habits. Every habit session deserves a mini mental celebration. New gym PR? Enjoy that dopamine rush. Closed your Apple Watch rings? Treat yourself to dessert.

Material rewards work too. After X sessions, buy that bottle of wine. Reach a milestone month? Get a massage. Small wins build your habit identity. Recognize them often.

Accept Imperfection – Just Keep Going

Some days your habit will flow; others it will fail. Such is life. Don’t beat yourself up over slip-ups – self-judgment ruins motivation. Just recommit the next day. One skipped workout or spending overage won’t undo your entire habit.

Focus on the overall trajectory, not isolated incidents. Progress is never perfectly linear. You’ll likely plateau and backslide occasionally as you inch forward. Stay patient and persistent rather than demanding perfection. Small steps still lead to mighty change.

Review and Adjust Quarterly

Each quarter, assess your habit strengths and weaknesses. Is your initial habit and approach still serving you? Do you need to modify the habit in any way to progress? Increase difficulty or frequency? Try new iterations?

Be open to regular reviews and course corrections to keep your habit targeted on your growth area. Adapt your approach based on new needs or life circumstances. Refine rather than starting over each new year.

Stack Habits Over Time

Once your first habit is solidly embedded in your routine, you can consider stacking additional aligned habits over time. Just don’t overdo it early on. Simple regimens practiced consistently create compound effects.

Build up your habit capacity gradually for the habits to stick. The more engrained a habit becomes, the less mental effort it requires. Start with foundational habits that open space for adding more over time.

 Commit Your Goal to Paper 

Now that you know how to set effective habits, it’s time to put it into practice for 2024. Write down your specific growth area for the year and the initial habit you will focus on building. Outline your implementation plan. Post it somewhere visible. Share it with supporters. This tangible manifestation of your commitment increases follow-through.


By ditching vague resolutions and embracing the incremental power of purposeful habits, you set yourself up for sustainable success. All growth is achieved through small steps practiced consistently over time. Your future self will thank you for the commitment you’re making today.

The dawn of a new year is the perfect time to turn inward and identify the building blocks for the life you envision. Let 2024 be the year your daily habits add up to incredible results. The positive compound effect of small actions will surprise you. Here’s to your healthiest, happiest year ahead powered by simple habits practiced with purpose and patience!

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Josiah Nang-Bayi, MD is a medical doctor by profession, an author, a financial literacy and digital assets enthusiast, an entrepreneur and a growing philanthropist.
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