10 Ways to Make Your New Year's Resolutions Stick
10 ways to stay strong in the face of tempting cupcakes, pricey shoes, and the urge to hit the snooze button instead of the gym.
Write Your Ticket to Success
People who put their goals on paper are significantly more likely to achieve them than are those who merely make mental vows, research from Dominican University of California has shown. What's also key: posting your goal in places where you will see it often, says Marvin D. Seppala, M.D., of Hazelden. "Your will matters most the moment you make a resolution — and you'll want to be able to recapture the intensity of that moment again and again." Share what you've written, too: The Dominican study found that those who told friends or family about their goals did better than those who didn't, and people who e-mailed their support team weekly progress updates did best of all. Social approval — as in "You look great!" — gives your brain a surge of soothing oxytocin, explains Joseph Shrand, M.D., of Harvard.
"How I Keep My Resolutions"
GH staff members share the tricks that work for them.
"I make it easier for myself by waiting till spring to take on a new challenge. January is a busy time of year (not to mention cold as well as dark in the morning and night!)."
— Cortney Pellettieri, entertainment editor
"I remind myself of times I wanted something even more desirable and was able to resist. Why blow calories on ordinary packaged cake when I turned down a gorgeous pastry at a restaurant the night before?"
— Toni Hope, health director
"I take ballet, which is a marriage of discipline and grace. It's extraordinarily hard to do it well. But the class is a weekly reminder that I can take on a tough challenge and slowly but surely improve."
— Jenny Cook, executive editor
"I think of myself as a role model for my 7-year-old son. I tell him that we both want to exercise and eat lots of veggies and fruit so we can be strong and healthy — and then I can't backslide."
— Samantha Cassetty, nutrition director, GHRI
"The only time I've stuck to a resolution was two years ago, when I set an end date — my 30th birthday in early May. I'd decided that I wanted to get into the best shape of my life. I did it, and I've kept up the good habits since."
— Amy Roberts, associate editor
Originally published on December 9, 2010
Related content on goodhousekeeping.com