Let’s be honest: how many of us have made noble New Year’s resolutions, only to backslide and throw in the towel before the first page of the calendar has flipped? But this year’s gonna be different (no, really) because you have help. We asked several self-improvement gurus what it takes to stay on track. Here are their top tips to guarantee you leave the new year a better man than you entered it.
1. Get Specific
“Lose weight” is a pretty bad New Year’s resolution. “Lose 10 pounds by March 1” is much better. “Having specific and measurable goals will lead to success, because the goals are attainable,” notes psychotherapist Christina Steinorth. After all, it’s easier to make progress when you know you are making progress. Other examples: “Work out for 30 minutes three times a week.” “Call home every Sunday.” “Throw more TDs than picks.” (We’re looking at you, Mark Sanchez.)
2. Think Small
Instead of a huge, all-encompassing New Year’s resolution, make several smaller ones, suggests Steinorth. It’s a numbers game, people. If you have a bunch of resolutions, the chances are greater that you’re going to keep at least some of them. This provides you with a silver lining when others don’t quite pan out. Rather than junking your single, big resolution, you can redouble your efforts with the ones you are crushing.
3. Visualize Success
“Before you tackle a particular resolution, write out how your life will change once you have accomplished your goal,” says life coach Jennifer Lee. This isn’t some nonsense out of The Secret—it takes the benefit of your commitment from abstraction to reality. For example: “If I lose 10 pounds, I’ll look great, gain confidence, and date hotter women.” There’s no better way to stay on task when times get tough than picturing something like that.