Have you found that your initially steely resolve to stick with your New Year’s resolutions typically drops at relatively the same rate the ball drops in Times Square—and just a few measly weeks afterward? If so, you’re not alone. Most resolutions fail, actually. But not yours—not this year. Because your strategy just got a lot smarter. We asked three of our most insightful experts how to frame your 2015 resolutions for success and stick to them stubbornly. Consider their tips your resolution solutions, and make it your first (and most important) resolution to follow them.
RESOLUTION: Resolve to do more of what you love. “Instead of making the same old resolutions you can never seem to keep, choose something that you’re already doing and simply resolve to do it more often, with more vigor, or with the intention of improving your technique,” suggests Julie Hergott, owner of the thriving Mont-Tremblant Curves in Quebec.
SOLUTION: “If you already walk during your lunch break three times a week with a co-worker, walk faster or come up with a route that has more hills,” says Julie. “Or, if you already work out three times a week at Curves, add a fourth day, or even show up for the Jillian workout you’ve been avoiding.” There’s no need to reinvent the wheel—just make the wheel you’ve already got spin a little faster.
RESOLUTION: Resolve to build a team. “Setting realistic, measurable goals is critical,” says Pam Peeke, MD, author of Body For Life For Women and chair of the Curves Jenny Craig Science Advisory Board, “but building a solid team—in any form—is just as important. Your team can consist of you and your dog, you and your walking friends, you and an online partner—even you and an app. It doesn’t matter what your support system looks like, only that you have one in place. It’s so much harder to do it alone—why even try?”
SOLUTION: Ask a pal from Curves to be resolution teammate. Share your individual resolutions, then agree to check in with each other every time you see each other at Curves. Track your progress together, teammate to teammate, whether your resolutions are the same or completely dissimilar.
RESOLUTION: Resolve to do whatever it takes to maintain your resolve. “There’s a technique that we’ve found in research is tremendously associated with losing weight, the problem is, just 15 to 20 percent of the population is willing to do it,” says Brian Wansink, Ph.D., director of the Cornell Food and Brand Lab in Ithaca, New York, and author of the new book Slim By Design: Mindless Eating Solutions to Everyday Life. “Honestly, it’s a little gooby—but sometimes, gooby is good. And this is one of those times—because it works.”
SOLUTION: “If you’re faced with a snack and you’re not hungry, say to yourself out loud: ‘I’m really full, but I’m going to eat this anyway,’” says Wansink. “That’s it—that’s all you have to do, but you do have to say it aloud. If you do, you’re likely to transform the way you snack and the way you eat in general. We’ve found that when people make the statement aloud, two-thirds of the time, they don’t eat the food. One-third of the time, they do—but that’s far less often than they would have otherwise.”