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11 Ways to Stick to Your New Year's Resolutions and Make Lasting Change in 2020


Resolutions

After the holidays, the start of 2020 may seem somewhat anti-climactic. However, January may just be the most important month because of the implicit motivation behind a new year.  

Whether you're trying to drop a habit, pick up a better one, or just live more intentionally, keeping those lifestyle changes in progress beyond the first few days of January will likely require some planning. 

Here are 11 ways to form new habits in 2020:

1. Decide what you really want. Take the time to reflect in a way that works for you, whether that's within a quiet space, with prayer, or by talking with friends and family. 

2. Define your plan by using the SMART goal system: be sure what you're aiming for is specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and timely. Outline what specifically you wish to achieve, decide how you'll measure success, make the goal attainable, be sure it's relevant ,and set yourself a deadline. 

3. Put your plan down on paper. Research shows that people who go through the cognitive process of writing out what their purpose is and the steps to get there are consistently more successful than those who make only mental notes. 

4. Create a reward system for milestones along the way. Start small to keep yourself looking forward to more progress.

5. Choose an energizing word or phrase that can be a focal point when you feel like giving up.

6. Ease into a new routine. Consistency is more important than intensity.

7. Give yourself permission to make the modifications necessary to fit your lifestyle. 

It's okay to deviate from the original plan.

8. Seek support from others through a relevant help line, social media group, or an in-person meet-up.  

9. Document your progress. Keep a journal, take pictures, or find other ways that illustrate where you started to see how you're doing and where you're headed. 

10. Know that setbacks will happen. Every passing day is another chance to begin again.

11. Remember that change is gradual. No matter the specific goal and outcome, the path can lead to an amazing 2020.

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