Resolutions Made Easy

If the thought of making New Year’s resolutions elicits a been-there-done-that attitude, take heart: This could be the year you stick with your plan—if you make all the right moves. These ideas will boost your chances of success.

Embrace the power of one. Life’s too hectic to make several changes at once. Pick one specific goal then figure out how to tackle it. Rather than resolving to simply lose weight or exercise more often, quantify the results you desire (the number of pounds you want to drop, how far you want to be able to run, or how many push-ups you want to be able to do). Then set a timeline for meeting it.

Help you help you. Be realistic. If you hate the gym, set up a circuit workout at home. Determined to write that novel? Make your workspace inviting and inspiring. Can’t get your chores under control? Stock household goods that make life more streamlined (like an all-in-one laundry detergent, stain-booster, and fabric softener).

Go public. Research suggests you’re more likely to stay accountable and succeed if you broadcast your goals to others. Post your progress on your favorite social network or create an online pinboard and invite your friends to motivate you.

Monitor yourself. There are tons of apps that will track your progress, whether your resolution is about fitness, spending less money, walking the dog more, or just about anything else. No question, viewing your progress is super satisfying.

Have a reward! No, this isn’t about giving you license to cheat. It’s about motivating yourself to stay the course. Smart: Pick a perk that’s in sync with your goal, like a massage for all those new muscles, or new workout clothes in fun bright colors. Yes, you deserve it!