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Setting Healthy Habits in the New Year: Muhamad Aly Rifai Explains the Psychology of a Fresh Start

Muhamad Aly Rifai

Ready to start 2023, right? Muhamad Aly Rifai is sharing his top tips for helping you get your new year off to a fantastic start. Rather than setting resolutions, he believes in the importance of creating sustainable habits to keep you moving toward your goals. 

Tip #1: Decide where you want to go. 

There’s no need to decide that you’ll lose 20 pounds in a month or that you’ll out-earn 2022 by June. Instead, pick a goal that you can use to determine what habits you should set in place to get you moving forward. Be realistic, be bold, and choose something fairly easily within your sights. You can adjust your goals as you achieve them, and accomplishing your first goal can give you the push you need to keep going. 

Tip #2: Decide on habits. 

Motivation isn’t going to carry you to your goals. Rather, your habits will move you forward, Muhamad Aly Rifai notes. After you’ve decided on your first goal for the new year, decide what actions you need to take regularly (weekly and daily) to help you get where you want to go. For example, if you’re working on training for a marathon but can’t remember the last time you hit the pavement with your running shoes, you might start by making a goal of getting active for 20 minutes each day before you commit to diving back into running. When you see that you’re able to stick to your daily habits, you’re more likely to stay on track. 

Tip #3: Find support. 

When you tell others about your new habits, you’ll be more likely to stick to them, even when times get tough. Finding a like-minded community of people, chatting with your family about your goals, or talking with an online support group can help you continue to progress toward your goals even when things get tough. 

Tip #4: Be flexible with your goals. 

Muhamad Aly Rifai says to remember, it’s ok to change your goals as you move forward. If you need help moving toward your goal because it feels insurmountable, it may be helpful to break it down into smaller goals that will help you eventually work up to where you want to be. You can also apply this idea to your daily habits–if you find that you need help to complete your daily habits more often than not, it may be smart to reconsider your approach.

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