Spin-transfer torque random access memory (STT-RAM) is considered as a promising candidate to replace SRAM as the next generation cache memory since it has better scalability and lower leakage power. Recently, 2-bit multi-level cell (MLC) STT-RAM has been proposed to further increase data density. However, a key drawback for MLC STT-RAM is that the magnetization directions of its hard and soft domains cannot be flipped to two opposite directions simultaneously, which leads to the two-step problem in state transitions. Two-step state transitions would significantly impact the lifetime of MLC STT-RAM due to the wasted flips in the soft domains. To solve the problem, this paper proposes a novel two-step state transition minimization (TSTM) scheme, to improve the lifetime of MLC STT-RAM when it is employed in cache design. The basic idea is by sacrificing certain cells as auxiliary flags, the two-step state transitions in STT-RAM can be well eliminated. Experimental results show that the proposed scheme can improve the lifetime of MLC STT-RAM to 318.5%.