Hanging in there...

Good morning everyone,

I don't know about you, but last night was the first time I felt a bit chilly in my room. I guess winter is finally here, eh? And it's going to stick around for at least the next six or seven days-highs all week will be around 9C (actually today is the coldest day with a high of 7C expected) and lows around or just above 0C. At least there's no rain or snow in the forecast. Speaking of snow, doesn't it seem like we've had less...a lot less...than last year? I remember riding my bike in the snow at least three times in December alone last winter. Last month, it snowed once and had stopped and was melted by the time I headed to work...so here we are one-third of the way into January, and I still haven't ridden in the snow...not that I'm complaining!  Ha ha!

So, how is it going with your New Year's resolutions?

It’s been a week since that annual three-part tradition: You made a New Year’s resolution, worked hard at it for a few days, and then let it fall by the wayside as various distractions sapped your will to stick to it.

That’s how it goes for most of us, at least.

Your resolution doesn’t have to fail, though. Here are three things that can help you keep your resolutions!

1. Understand the Power of Defaults
What do we mean by a 'default'? Well, we naturally continue to do things the way we always have-making a change is hard. So, if you're going to change your lifestyle, do little things to make it easier. It's like making the new thing you want to do a habit, once you've got a habit established, it's easy to keep it going...
resolution habit
If you want to go to the gym more, sign up for one that’s close to work or home. Don't choose a 'cool' or cheap gym that is out of your way. You'll stop going within a month...You could also sign up for a Google Alert that will send you a reminder of your weight-loss goals once or twice a week or have a standing appointment to go with a friend. Anything you can do to make going to the gym an established part of your regular routine could reap dividends down the road: the better job you can do establishing it as a habit, the harder it will be to slip out of it. 

2. Make It a Social Thing

Social norms and conforming to them is a powerful tool in helping keep your resolutions.
resolution social motivation
As for getting in shape, simply hanging out with gym rats isn’t going to automatically get you on a treadmill, of course. But being around other people who are going to the gym or working hard on losing weight or getting in shape will make you more motivated to do the same...

3. Recognize That We’re Loss-averse

Another important finding about human behavior is that we tend to be loss-averse. In other words, all things being equal we tend to react more to the threat of losing $50 than to the prospect of winning $50. There’s something hard-wired in us to be more worried about losing something than excited about getting something.
resolution loss aversion
I don't know about you, but I always reward myself with something if I achieve a certain goal. However, according to the research this technique is more effective. Basically it means to punish yourself if you don't reach a goal. So you kind of make a bet against yourself that you can achieve a certain goal, whether weight loss or whatever. If you don’t meet your goal, you have to lose out on something. I can see how this one is effective...I think I'm going to try it with my Japanese study...if I don't pass the Level 2 Japanese test in December, I have to take the streetcar to work for a month!  Ahh...it's too terrible! Ha ha!

Anyway, if you're having trouble keeping your resolutions, think about trying one or more of these-they might help!

Have a great day!

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