We’ve all got good intentions for the new year, but most of us let them fall by the wayside come February. Only about 20 percent of people actually stick to their vows to get in shape, stop a bad habit, save money or whatever else they need to improve. What’s their secret? Read on to find out how to make those new year’s resolutions a reality.

  1. Do one thing at a time. For some reason, that new number on the calendar makes us super ambitious. That’s a good thing, in moderation. Don’t try to overhaul everything in your life. Work on your most important goal first, then add others when you feel ready.
  1. Take baby steps. This tip makes just about every how-to-keep-your-resolutions list out there. And it makes sense. If you try to take on too much at once, like working out every day or quitting bread cold turkey, you’re more likely to give up. It’s easier to adopt new habits in small doses. 
  1. Make it a game. It might sound silly but challenging yourself to reach little goals can propel you toward the finish line. A good example is seeing how far you can run by counting mailboxes and adding a few each day. If you’re trying to get more disciplined about school, see if you can finish all your homework before “The Big Bang Theory” comes on. Trust us, it works.
  1. Ask for help. You can probably handle most resolutions on your own, but if you face a tough challenge like a 20-year smoking habit or serious financial issues, you may need extra support. Ask your friends or school advisor if they can refer you to a support group, credit counselor or other free resources.
  1. Congratulate yourself. Did you make it through the first week without cheating on your diet? Then it’s okay to celebrate, as long as it’s not with ice cream and cake! Treat yourself to a movie or that sweater you’ve had your eye on.

In 2019, count yourself among the 20% of people who actually keep their new year’s resolutions. The results will be worth it!

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