9 Ways to Keep Your New Year's Resolutions
With the start of a new decade, let's make sure you stick to those New Year's resolutions.
If your New Year's resolutions from last year have gone unresolved, you're not alone. Now a new year offers another opportunity to achieve your goals, and these nine tips should help you keep to your New Year's resolutions.
1. Make it something you really want. Don't make it a resolution that you "should" want or what other people tell you to want. It has to fit with your own values.
"Put some thought into it," says Richard O'Connor, author of "Happy at Last: The Thinking Person's Guide to Finding Joy." And avoid knee-jerk New Year's resolutions, he says. "I encourage people not to make cheap resolutions, but to save it for something meaningful."
2. Limit your list to a number you can handle. "It's probably best to make two or three resolutions that you intend to keep," says O'Connor. That way, you're focusing your efforts on the goals you truly want.
3. Be specific. "To be effective, resolutions and goals need to be pretty specific," says O'Connor. Jettison the amorphous "exercise more," in favor of "I'm working out at the gym Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 5:30 p.m."
4. Automate. Automating financial goals can maximize your odds for success without you having to do anything, says Keith Ernst, director of research for the Center for Responsible Lending in Durham, N.C.