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The Real Secret to Keeping Your New Year's Resolutions

What are the odds?

Many of us kick off a new year by enthusiastically committing ourselves to ambitious resolutions like losing weight, saving money, and reading more. "This year is the year," we assure ourselves. Why, then, do 80% of us give up our resolutions within the first month? The problem occurs when we have an off day, get discouraged, and give up. It's time to slow down and reduce our goals to a manageable size.

"New" New Resolutions

What does small and slow look like in 2018? Here are attainable alternatives to the most popular failed resolutions that we can stick to and actually enjoy.

1. Lose weight.

Eat one healthy meal every day.

Who says being healthy is an all-or-nothing game? We break fitness-based resolutions, especially losing weight, more often than any other; yet we choose them over and over again. Eating one healthy meal each day creates a micro-goal framed in terms of overall health, not pounds. Results may take longer to see, but if you slip up, it's OK. You will forgive yourself more easily when you miss a small mark instead of a huge target.

2. Save money.

Put away loose change.

If you tend to lose your coins or need meter money, start small. See a theme here? Even pennies add up. Go "old school" and invest in a piggy bank. Plant your pig in a visible spot as a reminder, and you’ll be surprised by the amount of your results. If that's not your style, track and moderate your spending with expense apps like Every Dollar, Mint, and Savings Track.

3. Read more.

Try audio books or podcasts.

Audio books and podcasts help remove obstacles like limited personal time, long to-do lists, and exhaustion. Multi-task away! Save money by building a digital library and save time on avoiding trips to your local library. Stop lugging around books and enjoy the convenience of having a book or podcast on your mobile device. Many podcasts can be downloaded for free and audio book subscriptions run discount promotions, especially at the beginning of the year.

Molehills, not Mountains

Scale back your approach. Rather than a total life makeover, think of your resolution as a small, specific, goal that is conformed to your ability and availability. If you give yourself a fair shot at achieving your goals, you are far more likely to break into the pack of resolution-keepers and transform your life in a sustainable way.

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