In our society's constant search for the best methods of changing habits, science has apparently found the magic number of days to actually form a new habit to be 66 days(see source below for details). In total that means you have until the first week of March with consistent practice to form that new, awesome, life-changing workout routine, healthy diet, or meditation program. That's less than 20% of an entire year to form a good habit. Hooray! But there's all those days in between that are the problem.
Why is early February going to be so critical? Because that's the period of time when we are most prone to falling off the wagon. The first 2 or 3 weeks are driven by energy, excitement, and a drive to "make this year your best year." But that outward motivation eventually plummets. Your routine becomes boring, the rest of life gets in the way, and it's during this time that falling into old habits becomes very easy.
How do you win in the face of this coming challenge? "Power of Habit" author Charles Duhigg says that right now is the time to be self-analytical. Explore the deeper meaning of why you want to change. What impulse is there pushing you forward and urging you to grow? Finding this inner drive provides the power to continue moving in the direction of your dreams. Not having it means falling into the same old patterns.
I refer to this as giving your Intentions Intensity. This conjures up some subconscious junk that you need to remove or finds inspiration that encourages progress. Part of the intensity in my intentions is my family. I not only want to be around for my wife and daughter, I want to be able to fully engage and enjoy life with them. I also find intensity in how I feel. When I'm exercising and meditating regularly, I feel calm, joyful, inspired, optimistic, open, loving, grateful, and energetic. My focus in what I'm gaining and how I feel about my actions instead of on the action itself.
This isn't some magic bullet, though. It doesn't mean it makes everything "easy." It just means that when you're bumping up against challenges, you have an inner compulsion that keeps you going. Finding that intensity and attaching it to positive actions gets you through that crucial middle time period and propels you towards that 66 day mark.