5 Ways to Make Your Resolutions Stick

Learn how to keep your goals!

Woman with computer

I know what you’re thinking: another cheesy, goody-two-shoes article on how I can keep all those goals I’ve set going into 2010. If you abhor such articles (like 10 ways to de-clutter your bathroom), then keep on reading. I’m like you. Normal.

 

1. Bribe yourself.

A so-called parenting expert that I read last week claimed that bribing your kid to get him to do something was an example of irresponsible and ineffective parenting. I suspect that the same man sits in his quiet and tidy little office cranking out advice like that while either his wife or nanny is home changing diapers and doling out time-outs. Let’s face it. Bribing is one of the most effective tools to get anyone–your kid, your stubborn mother, your golden retriever, or yourself–to do something.

My running coach used this brilliant method to train me to run 18 miles. Before our run, he hid Jolly Ranchers along our route, every two miles, so he’d say to me when I wanted to stop, “In another half-mile, you get a treat! Come, you can do it!” And like a rat spotting a half-eaten hotdog, I’d run to the candy. You want to make sure you stick to your resolution? Bribe yourself along the road there: at the one-forth mark, one-half mark, and three-quarters mark.

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2. Team up.

Think of the buddy system from Boy Scouts. Teaming up with someone means that you have to be accountable. You have to report to someone. Which brings down your percentage of cheating by 60 percent, or something like that. Especially if you’re a people-pleaser like me. You want to be good, and get an A, so make sure someone is passing out such reviews.

Also, there is power in numbers, which is why the pairing system is used in many different capacities today: in the workplace, to insure quality control and promote better morale; in twelve-step groups to foster support and mentorship; in exercise programs to get your butt outside on a dark, wintry morning when you’d rather enjoy coffee and sweet rolls with your walking partner.

3. Throw in a gimme.

This is to ensure on December 31 of next year, you will have succeeded at one goal. So make it an easy one: “Throw out my Christmas sweater with a sequenced reindeer,” “Pitch my golf-ball socks with two huge holes in the toes,” “Give away my Yanni CDs,” “Frame the family photo I had taken two summers ago.” You see where I’m going with this one? Heck, if you list a bunch of gimmes, then you’ll feel even better about yourself come next December.

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