5 Tips for Keeping Your New Year’s Resolution

The New Year is finally here, bringing with it a list of New Year’s resolutions that you hope to keep. While good intentions are a great place to start, past failures and successes have probably taught you that hope isn’t enough. To give you the best possible chance at keeping this year’s resolutions, read these five tips.

  1. Be specific: When you create your New Year’s resolution, set a specific, actionable goal. For example, instead of saying you want to be healthier, say you want to work out five days a week and stop eating sugar. This will make it significantly easier for you to follow tip #2.
  2. Focus on process: While your interest may be in reaching your ultimate goal, fixating on results isn’t helpful. Often times, looking only at the big picture of what you hope to accomplish can feel overwhelming. But if you focus on the daily process required to reach your goal, it’ll feel more manageable. For example, if your ultimate goal is to write a novel by the end of the year, your focus should be on writing three pages a day.
  3. Use reminders and replacements: This is particularly important during the first month or two since your resolution isn’t a habit yet. If you’re trying to give something up such as soda or sweets, leave a resolution reminder on a sticky note in your kitchen, at your desk, or wherever else you get tempted.
  4. Follow the two-day rule: This tip is especially effective if your resolution is to do something consistently, such as work out, market your business, or learn a new skill. The two-day rule allows you to skip one day of your chosen activity if you’re too busy or simply too tired, but you can’t allow yourself to skip the next day under any circumstances. By allowing yourself one day, but never two, you can benefit from guilt-free days off when you need them without breaking the rhythm of consistency.
  5. Change your environment: Unless you have superhuman discipline, it’s likely easier to control your environment than it is to control yourself. For example, you’re less likely to eat junk food if you remove junk food from your house. You’ll be more likely to sit down and write your novel if you have to walk past a writing desk every morning and night on your way to bed. Or, if those changes seem too hard, you can take the easy route and just buy a new home.

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