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7 Tips to Help You Keep Your New Year's Resolution

You've set a New Year's resolution with the goal of making permanent, positive changes in your life. However, if you're like most people. by the end of January, chances are you will have abandoned your New Year's resolutions. And by the time March rolls around, resolutions are practically forgotten. Here are some tips to help you keep your resolution this year.

1. Set a SMART Resolution

Make sure that your resolution sets you up for success. Your resolution should be SMART: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time Bound.

Setting a smart resolution allows you to clearly define what you're working towards, gives you a means of measuring your progress, and lets you see how you're doing. For example, you might set a goal of losing 10 pounds in 10 weeks because you want to improve your health. This goal is clear and concise, measurable (how much weight you've lost), realistic, and has a specific time frame.

2. Focus on One Resolution

When you want to make a lot of changes in the New Year, it's tempting to have a whole list of exciting resolutions. However, it's better to pick one resolution to focus your efforts on. This makes your resolution feel more achievable, and when you're successful, you'll build confidence in your ability to make permanent changes. It's ok to have more than one resolution, but the point is to keep the number of resolutions to a minimum (1-3) to increase your chances of succeeding.

3. Plan How You're Going to Work Towards Your Resolution

Reaching a goal requires planning. If you do things like you've always done them, this isn't conducive to making lasting changes. Assume you want to save a specific amount of money. To reach your resolution, you might decide to reduce how often you eat out. You may decide to schedule two hour-long meal planning sessions throughout the week and devote 20 minutes three times a day to food prep and clean up. In other words, you're not just making a resolution to eat out less; you're creating a strategy that will help you achieve your resolution, and again make you more likely to succeed.

4. Get Support

When you share goals with other people, you're more likely to achieve them. Share your resolutions with people who you know will offer support, accountability, and positive suggestions or feedback.

5. Use Affirmations to Boost Your Efforts

Affirmations are a powerful tool for reprogramming how your mind subconsciously operates. They help you overcome fear, negativity, and anxiety that keep you from reaching your resolution. Spend 5-10 minutes each morning completing spoken affirmations relating to your resolution. For example, if you want to exercise more, a great affirmation is "I have the willpower to stick to my exercise routine" or "I am strong and can complete any exercise."

6. Be Consistent

Consistency is essential for fulfilling your resolution. It's normal for your motivation to wane, and you're not going to be perfect in your efforts. When you have a setback, resume your efforts as quickly as possible. Don't wait until the next month or even the next day; resume your efforts immediately.

7. Reward Your Success

As you work towards your resolution, incorporate rewards for your success. These rewards don't need to be expensive to be effective. Try to choose rewards that aren't counterintuitive to your resolution. If your resolution involves weight loss, you might give yourself two hours of free time for each pound that you lose.

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