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How to Make Your New Year's Resolution Stick

“Although no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending.” ~ Carl Bard

The fact that only 8% of those who make a New Year’s resolution actually attain success doesn’t mean you shouldn’t make one yourself. After all, the success rate is up to you. These

are the most common resolutions (not surprisingly) according to University of Scranton. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 2014.

Thinking about a resolution, but in the past you've abandoned it by February? Forgive yourself for what wasn't accomplished last year. Embrace the energy the new year brings. Start with a clean slate. Try these 5 tips to make your resolutions stick:

  1. Be realistic: I’m all for aiming high, but you need to be realistic. You can also break down your resolutions into a multi-year plan. Maybe you want to change careers, but your financial picture is not yet where it needs to be. Your resolutions could look something like this: 2016: I will spend less money on unnecessary items to reduce debt by 50%. I will research and decide on a career that will make me want to get out of bed in the morning. 2017: I will have the courage to get out of my comfort zone to be in a new career.

  2. Set measurable goals: In the above example, I put specific numbers in my financial resolution. This way you’ll know if it is realistic and how you are doing versus your goal. Let’s say you come up short and reduce your debt by 35%. That’s still something to celebrate!

  3. Use the buddy system: I was surprised that my gym offered free unlimited guest passes…even for the same guest! Turns out that studies show the drop-out rate is significantly less when you work out with a buddy. The results are similar for weight loss. The buddy system can be used with just about any resolution you make.

  4. Expect obstacles: Life happens. You can’t predict it. Don’t let bumps in the road turn into brick walls. Stay focused and you will reach your goals, even if it is delayed due to life events.

  5. Commit: When you say your resolution, which way do you say it? "I would like to get a new job this year." OR "I will get a new job this year." Does “would like to” sound confident? Not exactly. Using the word “will” does. You have to believe it yourself if you want to reach your goal. Be conscious of how you say things and be confident in saying them.

As I said before, the only thing standing between you and sticking to your resolutions is... YOU.

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