Simple Tricks for Setting The Best New Year’s Resolutions

Simple Tricks for Setting The Best New Year’s Resolutions

More than 40 percent of Americans will make New Year’s resolutions, according to Forbes.com. Exercising more, drinking less, saving more money, improving relationships with family and friends — chances are, you’ve tried some or most of these goals at the beginning of the year, only to slide back to your past habits by Jan. 31.

One survey found that nearly 40 percent of failed resolutioners said they were too busy to make goals happen. An additional third reported they weren’t all that invested in their particular goals. These are two common problems, but many more stumbling blocks exist on the road to a happier, healthier new year. Here’s some guidance on what to try — and what to skip — as you brainstorm your best New Year’s resolutions for 2016.

Tricks for Setting and Sticking to Your New Year’s Resolutions

Make Them SMART

You’ve heard it before, now do it. Making your goals SMART, or specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time-bound, is the number-one thing you can do to achieve success. “Exercising” isn’t a goal. “Two runs per week plus one at-home yoga video” is.

person cheering sunset

Then, once your goal is set, track your progress. Nothing is more discouraging than working hard without knowing your results. (Click here for more on this.)

Zero In

NYC-based nutrition and fitness guru Liz Barnet recently wrote on her blog that you should set one goal this year. Maybe two, if you’re really on top of things. Too many goals can be a common saboteur — instead, focus on one habit or behavior you can seriously change — one that will truly make a difference in your life. And then write it down, SMART-style.

Know Your Why

In addition to trying a dramatic physical, emotional and financial overhaul on Jan. 1, another common pitfall is not knowing your “why.” If your goal is weight loss, for example, an aggressive workout plan with no change in diet, sleep or stress levels isn’t going to get you there. You also must consider why you want to lose weight. Is it really the best course of action for your body? Or would another health goal better-suit your body, such as aiming to cook at home on weeknights instead of ordering in?

healthy salad beets tomatoes lettuce cheese almonds

Learn Your Style

As we written about in the past, turning a good intention into a positive habit involves a few simple hacks. Perhaps the most-important one is to learn how you respond to motivation or pressure. As Gretchen Rubin outlines in her amazing book Better Than Before: Mastering the Habits of Our Everyday Lives, some people, such as yours truly, rely on external motivation. That’s why group exercise where someone else motivates me works for my style. It’s also why friendly fitness competitions via my Fitbit keep me engaged. (If only I saw the data, I’d quit — and go back to taking the bus home from work instead of walking.)

Get More Sleep

kitten sleeping sunlight

Zzz’s make you better-suited to goal setting (and keeping). Emerging research shows that the amount of sleep we get the previous night can wreck havoc on our willpower. The office vending machine becomes irresistible, as does an evening glass of wine, a skipped workout, etc. Prioritizing solid shut-eye can get you one step closer to your goals, or, if you rarely sleep well, perhaps it should be your 2016 resolution.

Join our become your best self New Year’s challenge to kick off the new year with a bang!

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What’s your 2016 New Year’s resolutions?

Cover Photo: Stocksnap.io-Peter Belch

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