Tips on How to Keep your New Year’s Resolution by Maryam Daghmoumi

You’ve made a New Year’s resolution. Congratulations! You’re 10 times more likely to successfully alter a behavior than you would if you didn’t make one. And maybe that’s why about 45 percent of American adults ring in the New Year with a resolution.  According to statistics, almost half will give up on their goals within six months. Here is how to avoid being one of them. No matter what your goal—to lose weight? get fit? save money?—these four tips will help you achieve your goal.

1) Be Specific –  Vague goals won’t work. Map out your strategy before you begin. If you want to lose weight, target a precise number of pounds you want gone, then set mini-goals and the dates on which you want to accomplish each of them. Want to save money? Determine the amount you will put away each month and identify explicit changes in behavior you’ll make to get there. Whether that means skipping your afternoon cappuccino or walking/biking instead of spending money on Uber rides out of the neighborhood.

2) Make Your Goal Public – Share your decision with friends and family who can offer support when you’re wavering and who will encourage you when you’re doing well at sticking to your resolution. 

3) Substitute Good Behaviors for “Bad” – Don’t rely on willpower alone to help you change.  That approach won’t work. Instead, build in a healthy behavior that’s incompatible with the one you want to change. Each time you put the brakes on “bad” behavior, you’ll increase your confidence in your ability to make the change.

4) Track Your Progress – Record or chart your changed behavior. Research indicates that such ‘self-monitoring’ increases the probability of keeping your resolution. 

Good luck and may the force be with you in 2018. 

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