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5 Mind Tricks to Help Keep Your Resolutions

5 fun and easy ways to help keep your New Year's resolutions

Shutterstock used with permission
Source: Shutterstock used with permission

Many of us think about what we want to accomplish at the beginning of a New Year. At the same time, we also know that most New Year resolutions don’t stick. What are some effective ways to succeed? Below are five fun and easy tips to help keep your New Year’s resolutions:

1. Write Down Your Goals

It’s one thing to think or talk about what you want to accomplish, it’s another to put it in writing. There’s something more formal and obligatory about committing yourself in script – it’s an act that gears your mind to paying more focused attention. If you’re daring, declare your goals in writing publically, especially to those whom you respect and don’t want to disappoint. When you write down your resolutions, you’re already off to a good start!

2. Divide and Conquer

New Year’s resolutions are often hard to keep because we come up with big, lofty objectives, but fail to break them down into increments so they’re more achievable. For example, consider the following two goals:

A. "I will lose 10 pounds this year."

B. "I will lose just one pound a month this year."

Which one seems easier?

If you picked B, you have actually selected to lose 12 instead of 10 pounds this year. Why do many people choose B instead of A? Psychologically, we’re more motivated to take action if we believe success is more immediate and within reach. The key, therefore, is to subdivide your resolution into small, measurable, and highly doable parts. If you use a scheduler, incorporate the parts onto your calendar. As you accomplish each small goal, check it off in writing and feel the sense of progress and accomplishment. Divide and conquer your way to success!

3. Bribe Yourself

Accomplishing your resolutions can and should be fun and enjoyable! One of the ways to make it so is to bribe yourself with small rewards along the way, and a large one upon completion. When I write long and tedious reports, I sometimes promise myself a cup of gourmet coffee after finishing each section, and a deep tissue massage after the entire report is done. What are some enjoyable rewards you can give to yourself along the way as you realize your goals?

4. Enrich Your Journey: Create Inspiration, Bonding, and Meaning

Three of the more common reasons why people stop working on their resolutions are busyness, distractions, and the lack of discipline. To a good extent these barriers can be overcome if you make your progress along the way as inspirational, relational, and/or meaningful as possible. Exercise with a buddy instead of by yourself. Work on your projects or studies at scenic places instead of in a stuffy room. Quit a bad habit with the support of a like-minded group instead of struggling on your own. Create fresh shared experiences with your loves ones instead of repeating the same old routine.

Ultimately, it takes self-discipline to accomplish most goals, and enriching your journey along the way can be a strong and compelling motivator.

5. Begin It Now

If you’re serious about realizing your resolutions, let the momentum begin right away. Write down your goals, and take a small but concrete action step forward. One of my personal goals this year is to become more physically fit, so right after I publish this article, I’m contacting my friend to schedule our visit to the gym. What are your resolutions for this year, and what's a quick and easy way for you take the first step? Start now and begin your success towards an exciting and powerful New Year!

"Whatever you do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius and power and magic in it."

― Goethe

For more on personal and professional success, see my publications (click on titles):

"How to Let Go of Negative Thoughts and Emotions"

"How to Communicate Effectively and Handle Difficult People"

"The Seven Keys to Life Success"

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Preston Ni, M.S.B.A. is available as a presenter, workshop facilitator, and private coach. For more information, write to, or visit

© 2013 by Preston C. Ni. All rights reserved worldwide. Copyright violation may subject the violator to legal prosecution.