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New Year's resolutions: How to actually keep them this year



You've done it until 2019, and this is the year you train more, eat healthier, stop smoking, save more money or any other affordable personal goal.

Except that is what you said last year and your New Year's decision didn't make it past Groundhog Day.

This year it is different. We give you scientifically researched advice that can really help you make these resolutions.

Begin small

What if I told you to make the slightest situation is the key to keeping your New Year's resolution?

It may sound too good to be true, but science bears it up. In 201

2, Stanford's behavioral scientist BJ Fogg gave a TED Talk that describes the simplest and yet (for some people) most effective way of cementing new habits.

His philosophy is rather than focusing on a large, vague goal – like losing weight – putting your energy into completing small, simple tasks every day that adds to making a difference.

To be able to do it consistently, you must:

  1. Be motivated to do so;
  2. Has the ability to do so; and
  3. Find a trigger that reminds you to do so.

Counting on motivation is difficult because it can fluctuate every day. Rather than trying to be motivated to complete a major task, it is easier to find a small one that always feels attainable.

If you want to get fit but never made a single push-up, commit to doing 10 every day will feel scary or impossible. Instead, try to fill in a push-up immediately after getting out of bed every morning. Because it is simple and easy, you can do it if your motivation is high or low.

Once you have chosen a small habit, you must attach it to something that you are already doing consistently. Remember to brush your teeth, go to the toilet or take a shower. This means that your new habit becomes a second nature and over time, the small change can yield great results.

My favorite example that Fogg gives is flossing just a tooth. It's so easy that I can't talk out of it, and when I fret a tooth, I'm prone to fray them all.

You can read more about Fogg's method for changing behavior here.

Keep quiet

Have you already abandoned your New Year's resolution, after you made a great proclamation on Facebook that you would exercise more / eat healthier / quit smoking / save more money?

Tell your friends and family may have been your downfall.

Research shows that when we tell people about the goals we plan to achieve, we get a hasty sense of accomplishment that can kill our motivation to actually do the job. In addition, when we fantasize about how life will be when we meet our goal, we tend to have less physiological and behavioral energy that we actually need to complete.

When it comes to getting support from friends and family, it may be good, especially when their behavior can affect your resolution – like telling a friend, you will have to skip happy hour to go to the gym.

Instead of making a public announcement about your resolution and being caught in how great it will feel when you achieve it, your goal will break down in small steps and reach out to trusted people in your life who will encourage you.

CNET Smart Living Guide: Everything you need to know to live smarter.

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