Been recently thinking a lot about how often new years resolutions are set up to fail and what not. Let's spend the year getting fit, I want to make more money this year. All these types of resolutions are vague without any actionable items or completable goals. Goals need to be actionable, specific, and have some sort of clear time table.
Leo Baubata from Zen Habits has a great post about this that you can read here http://zenhabits.net/awesome-2016/.
He touches on the idea of breaking your yearly goal into manageable monthly and even weekly thematic chunks. The goal is to start small and have a positive tight feedback loop to improve upon. He also mentions getting accountability partners that include both positive and negative outcomes depending on if you achieve your goals.
One of my favorite ways to start actionable habits and goals is to use BJ Fogg's tiny habits system that focuses on the smallest irreducible part of a habit to get started with. For example if you want to start flossing everyday, he suggests that you start with flossing one tooth the moment you wake up in the morning. You can read more about his process here http://http//tinyhabits.com/.
Overall, throughout the years of habit building I've found a collection of these bullet points really help make habits stick.
1) Do ONE habit at a time, give it a month!
2) Make sure it can be done DAILY (eg. flossing teeth, making your bed, meditating, running, etc. )
3) Set yourself up to WIN ( make it easy for yourself, instead of running 30 miles a week, try putting on your running shoes everyday first)
4) Have REWARDS and CONSEQUENCES (put money on the table for if you succeed or not, make it large enough you would hate to lost $1000 dollars by not waking up @ 7 am everyday)
Some good readings and tools out there for your viewing pleasure:
https://open.buffer.com/build-strong-habits-apps-tools/ - Nice overview of helpful apps for habits
http://pavlok.com/ - Cool negative reinforcement tool for habit breaking (smoking, etc)
http://zenhabits.net/ - One of the best and oldest blogs out there on this topic
http://charlesduhigg.com/the-power-of-habit/ - A great book behind the psychology of habits