Sweet tooth out of control? It’s time to show your teeth who’s boss. Try these tips for getting over your sugar cravings.

Research shows eating too much sugar leads to heart disease, diabetes, and other diseases.

Sugar has overtaken fat and carbs as the ingredient to avoid in food. Most of us know drinking a Diet Coke and eating a box of Chips Ahoy isn’t good for us, but we still do it.

Why?

Because sugar is addicting. Some scientists say it works like cocaine and other drugs, targeting the dopamine-releasing centers in your brain. Sugar makes you feel good in the moment and bad in the long-term.

What can you do if you’re trying to improve your health and cut back on that sweet stuff? Read below for our best tips on battling your sweet tooth:

Wait 15 minutes.

When that craving hits your brain, suddenly all you can think about is feeding your addiction. It can be an all-consuming feeling, but the key to breaking out of your addiction is to avoid giving in.

Tell yourself that you’ll have to wait at least 15 minutes before you satisfy your sweet tooth. During that break, your brain will have time to think about how you promised to get better and how crappy you’d feel if you relented. Many people find that after 15 minutes have passed, they don’t even remember the intense craving they had.

Keep a food journal.

When you feel like heading to the snack machine or your closest convenience store, take a second and stop.

Instead of giving in to your urges, keep a notebook with you to write down how you feel when those cravings arrive. Remind yourself why you decided to cut back on sugar and what your goals are.

When we have a craving, we’re determined to fulfill a short-term need. It’s like scratching a mosquito bite. It feels better in the moment, but afterward you just want to keep scratching.

A food journal can help you remember why you’re saying no to your sweet tooth and keep your long-term goal in mind. 

Avoid buying it.

Creating a new habit requires a lot of willpower that’s often in short supply. Instead of counting on yourself to always make the right decision, you have to start making it easier for yourself. Case in point: avoid buying sugary items.

If you buy a packet of Oreos, then every time you want to have some, you’ll be forcing your brain to make a difficult decision. A box of Oreos represents at least a few times you’ll have to decide between breaking your diet and staying on track.

The best way to avoid that scenario? Don’t buy the Oreos in the first place. Not buying the Oreos in the first place helps you avoid being forced to make a decision about them later. 

Reach for fruit.

Research says that there’s little difference between the sugar found in fruit and junk food. However, fruit usually contains essential fiber that will slow down how fast your body processes the sugar.

Instead of eating a Little Debbie snack, grab some fresh strawberries or cut up a banana. It’s a lot harder to binge on fruit than it is on Hostess snacks. Satisfy your sweet tooth with something healthier.

Combine it with protein.

You don’t have to give up sugar entirely to stay within your diet. But one way to decrease the effect more sugar can have is to pair a sweet treat with protein. If you want a piece of chocolate, have some almonds or walnuts with it. Pair a cookie with a glass of whole milk, which has more protein and Vitamin D than skim or 2%.

Protein will fill you up more and prevent you from eating five brownie bites. Peanut butter and almond butter are also good additions to some chocolate chips or ice cream. Your sweet tooth gets a little love, but isn’t taking over.

Avoid peer pressure.

The people around you will likely notice if you’re trying to change your eating. Some might criticize you and say things like, “One cookie isn’t going to kill you.”

It’s easy to give into peer pressure, especially if you feel uncomfortable or are in a workplace setting. But those people aren’t looking out for your best interests; they’re just trying to feel better about their own choices. When they see someone who’s making better decisions, they get insecure and want to tear that person down.

Instead, find someone you know who has a similar goal. You can help each other stay on track and vent when your cubicle neighbor is harassing you about eating their homemade brownies.

Eat mindfully.

When we eat something we crave, we likely hoover it down. Instead, try eating as slowly as possible and concentrating on what you’re ingesting. Eating mindfully has been shown to reduce overeating because it helps you appreciate the food you have.

This piece of advice might seem a little “woo woo,” but it can help you realize you only need one candy bar, not five.

Plus, the slower you eat, the more time your stomach has to truly signal that you are getting full.

In the end, we really are what we eat. So try not to eat so much crap.

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Your friend’s politics are getting on your nerves. You need to figure out how to fix this without destroying the friendship.

When it comes to friendships, diversity makes all the difference.

It’s important to have things in common, but most solid relationships are built upon a foundation of complementary contrasts.

But as possible as it is for Yankees and Red Sox fans to be friends, some differences are harder to reconcile. When a friend or loved one holds an opinion that suggests a fundamentally different view of the world from your own, it can be painful and confusing.

You guessed it: I’m talking about politics.

Political views don’t define a person, but it’s easy to think that way in the wake of a challenging and polarizing political season.

Once you develop a negative opinion of someone based on their politics, it’s no easy task to scrub that feeling away – even if it’s an old friendship with lots of great memories.

If you want to preserve a healthy friendship or save a sinking one, here are some tips for when your politics and your friend’s politics just don’t match.

If you want to stay quiet.

During this past election, I was shocked at how differently some of my friends felt about who should be president.

I was so disappointed to think that someone I trust and care about could have such a fundamentally different view of the world. Sometimes loitered around Twitter and Facebook pages to see what they were posting, even when I didn’t plan on writing a response. I just wanted to follow my friends’ political discussions.

Eventually, I realized that if I wasn’t going to disagree with them publicly, it was pathetic to resentfully stalk their accounts. What I’d find would only disappoint and anger me. It can be so addicting to read comments and posts from people you disagree with, but unless you want to speak up it will only hurt your friendship.

If you believe that friendship and politics don’t mix, here are some strategies on staying sane for the next four years:

  • Block them on social media. Unless you see someone regularly, social media is the best way to stay in touch with them. It’s also the easiest way to find reasons to hate them. Unfollowing them on Facebook or Twitter can make it easier to maintain the friendship, especially if they’re particularly vocal about politics.
  • Install a browser extension. People began complaining about too much political content on social media during the presidential election. Now, developers have responded with browser extensions that scrub your news feeds of anything political. They’re not foolproof, but they can minimize how many political posts you see.
  • Talk to them personally. Asking your friend not to mention politics via text, email or social media is hard, but asking them in person is much easier. Tone is misunderstood less often when people are face to face or on the phone with each other.

If you want to speak up.

Of course, not all of us can or even want to stay quiet. Maybe you feel passionately about an issue. Whether you are disagreeing with your parents, other relatives, or friends, it’s important to be careful as you move forward.

Here are some suggestions on how to disagree with a friend’s politics without offending or upsetting them:

  • Seek to understand, not convince. Author Jason Vitug of You Only Live Once said in the last year he’s been surprised at how many loved ones he disagrees with on politics. Instead of ignoring what they say or arguing with them, Vitug tries to understand how they came to that conclusion and asks them why they believe what they do. Doing so has made him more compassionate and less dismissive. “I’ve learned for the most part that all of us want the best, but how we get there will differ,” Vitug said.
  • Find common ground. The differences between your mother-in-law’s politics and your own can seem like an irreparable gulf. Instead of focusing on what you disagree with, find opinions you have in common. The less you see someone as an enemy, the easier it will be to stay friends.
  • Learn their stories. Like Vitug, writer Julie Rains of Investing to Thrive said she asks people their reasons for holding a certain opinion. She often finds that their background informs their opinions more than she realized. She said it makes it easier to see their point of view after finding out what their stories are.
  • Avoid name-calling. Disagreeing about your friend’s politics is like arguing about any other topic. Once you start name-calling, a friendly disagreement can quickly turn ugly. No matter how heated the discussion gets, try to keep your cool. The more respectful you are, the better the chance for your message to get through – and for your friendship to survive.
  • Send a private message. Disagreeing on social media can turn sour quickly, especially when emotions are inflamed. The public nature of the medium can make that worse, allowing for strong opinions to pile up and aggravate everyone involved. If you’re tired of fuming quietly, consider reaching out to your friend privately. You’ll be able to work out your differences on a more personal level, rather than duking it out in front of all your followers.

It’s been a bruising political season, and things aren’t getting any easier for many of us. We need to view our friends’ politics like adults, and work to keep conversations civil.

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Feeling trapped in our own life? You can get out of that rut. Here’s how to add a little more kick-ass to your life.

Just after college I found myself in a deep, deep rut.

I lived in a small midwestern town where I had no friends and worked a job that bored me. I struggled to find anything to feel passionate about. Every day felt the same, and my outlook on the future was pretty bleak.

Being in a rut changes the way you think. It catches you in a loop, blinding you to the endless options and divergent paths a life can take. You may know deep down that there’s another way, but realizing that change is harder than it sounds.

If you’re ready to make some alterations in your stagnant routine, here are some strategies to help you out of that life rut.

Make small changes.

Some people are tempted to drop everything “Eat Pray Love”-style to get out of their rut. While that kind of extreme experience works for some people, you really don’t need to leave the continent to fix your mood and get out of your life rut (although a real vacation can help).

Small changes add up to a big difference, and they’re much easier to implement. The idea of having a life-changing adventure might appeal to some, but plenty would be intimidated by the idea. Thinking small allows you to make incremental change without taking a big, scary leap.

For example, if you’re sick of your 30-minute drive to work, find a podcast or an audiobook to spice up the commute. I used to drive three hours one way to visit my then-boyfriend, and I’d load up my iPod with new music and “Fresh Air” interviews. The drive was still dull, but at least I loved one aspect of it.

If you’re eating the same meals for dinner every week, try adding in one new recipe from your favorite food blogger or from an ethnic cuisine you love. You’ll be surprised how far a little extra flavor goes, inside the kitchen and out.

Small changes, from adding a 10-minute walk in the morning to learning a new language, can help you feel a little more invigorated by life.

Invest in an experience.

The quickest way I’ve found to freshen my routine is by taking a class. Learning something new is challenging, uncomfortable and exciting – exactly what someone in a life rut needs.

Local community centers, colleges, and businesses offer classes on any topic. I’ve taken cooking, sewing, and financial planning classes. Right now, I’m signed up for improv and drawing. These courses make me feel like I can do anything – like I’m capable of more than I realize.

Studies also confirm that spending money on experiences instead of material goods makes people happier. The joy from a vacation or museum trip lasts longer than the thrill of a new purse or piece of furniture, no matter how tempting it might be to choose the latter.

Recognize your power.

Being in a life rut feels like you have no control over your life.

Instead of dwelling on your helplessness, make a list of things you can change. You can find a new workout, reconnect with old friends, set new goals at work, foster an animal, or change your hairstyle.

Your list can help you realize how much you can change by yourself. Sure, you might not be able to quit your job right away or move to a new city, but there’s nothing stopping you from salsa dancing every weekend or eating brunch at your favorite diner.

Here are some other suggestions transforming your life in ways you can change today:

  • Be grateful. Cultivating gratitude can perk up anyone who thinks their life is dull and pointless. Keep a journal where you list three things you’re grateful for, or recall the good things that happened that day before you go to bed. Soon you’ll learn how to do this throughout the day and make it a regular habit.
  • Enjoy the little things. During my senior year of college, I struggled with depression and anxiety. I remember complaining to my mom about how every day felt like the same routine. Her suggestion? “Drink a cup of tea and have a piece of chocolate.” I begrudgingly tried it, and was shocked at how much better I felt. It’s not a permanent fix, but small luxuries can break up a humdrum day quickly and cheaply.
  • Talk to a therapist. Sometimes a life rut can be fixed by a fun weekend or change in routine. Other times, it’s a symptom of depression that needs a professional’s help. A licensed counselor or therapist can identify exactly what’s bothering you. It might take a few sessions, so don’t expect overnight results.
  • Perform service. Helping someone else is one of the best ways to feel better. Researchers say volunteering boost happiness levels. You can find a regular volunteer position or a sporadic one, depending on your schedule. Sites like VolunteerMatch.org or Idealist list positions, or you can contact organizations individually.
  • Do something hard or new. At work, ask for more challenging assignments or collaborate on a new project. When I’ve found myself in a career rut, doing work outside of my job description let me expand my skills and try something new.
  • Talk to friends. Your friends might understand or feel the same way, so talk aloud about what you’re going through. They could have their own ideas on how to help, and sometimes just sharing your struggle with someone else is enough to make things seem a little more hopeful.

There are things we can’t control. But when you recognize your power and acknowledge the things you can change, you feel better at life. And you can see some of the ways to get out of your life rut and move forward with greater purpose.

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Hate your job? You’re not stuck there forever. Here’s how to find a career you love.

I’ve always thought of society’s expected career path as a cruel joke.

At 18, we’re supposed to choose an industry to pursue for the rest of our lives. At this point, we begin racking up student loans that leave us financially crippled for the duration of our 20s.

I would barely trust my 18-year-old self to scramble an egg or drive me to the airport.

That’s the nature of our higher education system.

But it doesn’t have to be a prison sentence. Changing careers is never easy, but always worth it if you’re pursuing a happier and more fulfilling life.

Did you choose a career early on that just isn’t meshing with who you are today? Perhaps you want to make the best possible choice the first time around.

The good news is you can find a career you love, no matter where you’re at today. Here’s how:

Make a list of what you like.

First things first – Make a list of subjects you’re interested in. My list looks like this:

  • Personal finance
  • Arts and crafts markets
  • Dogs
  • Baking
  • Teaching

I’ve always enjoyed those things. Once, during a moment of panic, I considered working as an artisan and selling my wares at a market. That lasted a few weeks until I realized: a) I didn’t want to wake up early and set up my goods while other people were still sleeping, and b) I just wasn’t very good at it.

I also thought about becoming a teacher. But going back to school and getting another degree didn’t appeal to my lazy nature. Are you sensing a theme here?

I like writing and teaching people about money. I also like doing it while wearing yoga pants. That’s why I’m a freelance writer.

Your own list might look completely different from mine – and completely different from your current career. If you don’t like what you’re doing right now, make a list and start putting more time into the things on it.

You probably shouldn’t quit your job right away. Start doing those things you’re passionate about on nights and weekends. See what you like and what you hate. See what makes you feel good and what bores you.

Keep doing it for a while. Meet people in the field and find a way to do it full-time. You can even keep your passion project as a part-time gig – one that keeps you motivated to get through the slog of your day job.

Sometimes a career you love is more about finding joy on the side than making it full-time.

Make a list of what you don’t like.

A friend of mine was an incredible journalist and one of the best writers I know. She was also an avid runner who competed on the track team in college. But when she got the opportunity to write for a runner’s magazine, she turned it down.

She told me later, “It should’ve been my dream job.”

The job was located in a small town in Pennsylvania. Living in the middle of nowhere, far from her friends and family, wasn’t something she wanted. Instead, she found a gig working for the NCAA magazine, where she gets to tell stories of athletes she’s passionate about.

Sometimes that dream job isn’t so dreamy once you look closely.

I don’t want to burst anyone’s “Lean In” bubble, but no one, women included, can have it all. You can’t have the corner office, a group of friends you see regularly and a thriving personal life. Sometimes, you have to choose.

That career you love is all about knowing the reality of what you might have to give up. You need to decide if it’s worth what you gain in return.

Make a list of deal-breakers, or anything that would make you seriously reconsider changing jobs or careers.

Is a long commute out of the question? Do you highly value privacy in the workplace? Maybe you’re more of a social butterfly who needs a thriving office environment?

Only you can decide what you’re willing to accept. Major life changes usually require a measuring of pros and cons: Make sure you’ve measured accurately.

Is there a right career?

Too often, people become more personally invested in their job and career than is necessary – or even healthy. A job isn’t a marriage, and you don’t have to devote yourself to it for the rest of your life.

It’s OK to change gigs. It’s even OK to leave an industry entirely to find a career you love.

What’s right for you as a 25-year-old might be different from what’s right as a 45-year-old. Your priorities can and will shift in that time, leaving you wondering why you signed on in the first place.

But there’s good news: if you’re reading this, you have plenty of time to explore.

I’ve already had three different careers in my life, and I haven’t hit 30 yet. When my mom was 33, she got her second master’s degree in accounting and began a new career. My father-in-law started a company from scratch at 40 in a city he hadn’t lived in for 20 years.

It’s never too late to reinvent yourself and find a career you love.

Don’t get so hung up on what the right career is for you right now.

Follow what you’re interested in, don’t let it disrupt the rest of your life, and earn enough to stay out of the poverty spiral. If you put some serious thought into it, you’ll end up following the right path.

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Disagreeing with your parents is just fine. Do it in a way that doesn’t make them see you as a perpetual child.

When you’re raising a child, arguments seem pointless.

Why should anyone have to suffer through a squabble about why their 14-year-old can’t stay out until 2 a.m.?

When you spend a good decade or so having the kinds of disagreements that make you want to scream, it’s easy to develop a dismissive attitude toward your child’s opinions.

But as parents age and children become adults, the lines start to blur.

All of a sudden, the child starts to make sense – maybe even a little more sense than the parent is comfortable with. How should that transition be handled?

Most of these conversations revolve around how the parent in question can accept their child as a bona fide adult.

But what about from the other perspective? The adult child’s role in a disagreement is just as important – and just as tricky to navigate.

If you’re ready to start parsing parental conflicts in a more effective way, read ahead for some tips on how to make it happen.

Stay calm.

There’s a reason why “Keep calm and carry on” has become a viral phrase in the last few years. Staying calm is a vital tool – one that precious few people use correctly.

It won’t help your case to yell or get emotional, even if you’re in the right. Staying calm will help you to present clear, focused arguments and avoid getting sidetracked.

Try to be the bigger person. Even if your parents are calling you names, trying to avoid the conversation or refusing to acknowledge your point of view. It doesn’t help to get worked up. If anything, it will just feed into the idea that you’re not mature enough.

When disagreeing with your parents, you need to stay on the higher ground.

Avoid all or nothing statements.

Avoid all or nothing phrases like “you always” or “you never” when arguing. Accusing your mom or dad of doing something 100% of the time is a sure-fire way to put them on the defensive.

Instead, bring up specific examples and use words like “sometimes” or “occasionally.”

When you use “all or nothing” thinking, you cut yourself off from seeing their point of view. You turn your parents into caricatures of themselves instead of well-rounded people who make mistakes.

This approach is important in any argument, but especially during a time where both parties are trying to develop a more nuanced view of the other.

Take a step back if you find yourself doing this when disagreeing with your parents. An argument can quickly turn from a productive disagreement to a petty squabble when one side or the other goes down the rabbit hole of dramatic statements and accusatory language.

Stay focused.

Family matters come with decades of baggage that hasn’t been fully unpacked. It’s easy to get sidetracked during a heated argument and think about every perceived injustice you’ve ever suffered.

Stay focused on what you’re talking about. If you’re complaining about how they forgot to ask about your recent work promotion, don’t bring up the time in seventh grade when they missed your school play.

Part of the difficulty of disagreeing with your parents is convincing them to see you as a fellow adult instead of a kid. If you bring up something from your childhood, accomplishing that is going to be very difficult.

It’s frustrating to stay on track when you feel like you have more ammo in your bag, but piling on doesn’t validate an argument. It’s only makes the other person more defensive and less sympathetic to what you’re saying.

Pick your battles.

You can’t disagree on everything if you want a happy relationship with your parents. Even though it might hurt your jaw to grit those teeth, you’ll be happier in the long run if you let some things go.

For example, if your parents eat red meat every day and you’re a staunch vegetarian, don’t bring up the horrors of factory farming when you’re visiting for Christmas. No one wants to be insulted in their own house, and it’s probably not a stand worth taking.

If they criticize or make fun of your vegetarianism, then it’s time to speak up. In general, try to notice the difference between defending your sovereignty as an adult and looking for an excuse to pick a fight.

Create and enforce boundaries.

Remember when you were a teenager and how fiercely you protected your bedroom? No one could go in without your consent. Doing so was a violation of privacy.

That’s how your mind should be. No one can make you upset or force you into a discussion without you agreeing to it. For example, if you don’t want your parents to criticize your parenting skills, shut that topic down as soon as it comes up.

Setting those mental and emotional boundaries will make it easier to stop questions from turning into arguments.

If your mom disagrees with your decision not to breastfeed your child, simply say, “This is my decision, and I’m not going to discuss it with you further.”

If she tries to keep poking you, repeat that sentence. Eventually, she’ll get the message. Parents generally mean well, but they won’t know they’ve stepped over a line unless that line is clearly and consistently drawn.

This strategy is a larger representation of how to disagree with your parents in general. Make it a habit to be respectful of yourself and your parent’s opinions, and things will get easier.

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Develop the money management skills that will have you adulting financially in no time. Like a boss.

Resolutions are for suckers.

Well, sort of.

The idea of accomplishing specific yearly goals almost always ends up being a pipe dream. There’s a better way.

Rather than setting hard benchmarks that lead to clear win/lose scenarios, try aiming to improve in a more general sense. When you take away the pressure of abject failure, it’s much easier to work towards a better you.

For most of us, that probably includes learning how to better manage our finances.

Money management skills may not be the most important thing you could work on, but it’s probably the most needed. When’s the last time you checked your credit score? Re-filled your emergency fund? Talked to a financial advisor?

Even if you’ve done all these things recently, there’s probably a blind spot somewhere in your financial habits. Here’s how you can spot those weaknesses and address them.

Find your weak points.

Working on your money management skills is like trying to lose weight. You have to know what your weak points are if you want to see success. Are you eating too much or not exercising enough? Knowing where you’re deficient is the only way you can reach your goal.

Personal finance is the same way. You have to investigate what’s going wrong before you can improve anything. Are you spending more than you earn? Are your expenses too high? Are you not saving enough?

Go through your bank and credit card statements for the last couple months and write down how much you’re spending and saving. Divide your expenses into the following categories:

  • Rent/mortgage
  • Healthcare
  • Transportation
  • Groceries
  • Entertainment
  • Debt Payments
  • Utilities
  • Miscellaneous

Seeing your expenses laid out will show where you’re going wrong.

Compare your spending to your income. Are you spending almost 90% of what you earn? Are your loans taking a huge chunk of your income? That might explain why you can’t seem to save for emergencies or retirement.

Before you can work on a solution, you have to figure out what the problem is.

Start small.

Once you’ve identified what’s going wrong, you might be tempted to jump in the deep end. Don’t. Starting too quickly will lead to burnout and exhaustion, even before you’ve reached the one-month mark.

Don’t. Starting too quickly will lead to burnout and exhaustion, even before you’ve reached the one-month mark.

Starting too quickly will lead to burnout and exhaustion, even before you’ve reached the one-month mark.

Start with small, measured changes. For example, if you eat out three times a week, try cutting back to one or two. Then after a month, see if you can dial that back even further.

Going cold turkey might work for some people, but it can backfire for others. Like working out, if you do too much too fast, you might end up injured and less motivated than before.

Changing your financial habits and building better money management skills take time, so be patient with yourself and confident in the direction you’re heading. If you’re putting in consistent work, you’ll get there eventually.

Try different methods.

When you Google “how to budget,” you find millions of search results. Some experts recommend the cash envelope method, while others advocate using a mobile app. Each method has its own proponents who claim that nothing else works as well. In reality, it all depends on the person.

The best budgeting method is the one that works for you — and that you stick to in the long run.

If you’ve failed at budgeting or saving in the past, maybe the method you chose sealed your fate. Try a few different strategies until you find one that works for your personality and tendencies.

Seek outside inspiration.

No matter your financial goal, making the journey with other people is better than going it alone. You can find a community of like-minded people on internet forums, by taking financial classes or even searching on Facebook.

A community can make you feel more supported in your goals. Personal finance is still a taboo amongst many groups of people, so seek the support of strangers if your own loved ones are squeamish about the subject.

Reading finance blogs and books, as well as listening to podcasts, can inspire different ideas and serve as educational tools.

No matter what you’re trying to do, there’s someone out there writing about how they did it.

Track your progress.

When I decided to pay off my student loans quickly, I started blogging about it. I thought I’d feel more committed to my goal if I made it public. That ended up being one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.

I tracked my progress on the blog – celebrating when I made big payments, when my balance got down to four figures and when I made my last payment. My readers supported me throughout my journey, especially when I felt stressed and discouraged.

You don’t have to start a public blog, but it can help to document what you’re doing. A simple notebook or journal – even a private blog that’s password-protected – can work.

Seeing where you’ve been can make you feel better about where you’re going, especially when it starts to feel like a slog.

Money management skills don’t just appear. You need to cultivate them. Make an effort to improve, track your progress, and reap the long-term benefit of better finances.

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Don’t just make a list of goals. Make resolutions that actually matter and will truly change your life.

Every year people set New Year’s resolutions.

Feeling that this year will be different, they choose a few goals, announce them on social media and get ready to feel accomplished.

Then, before Valentine’s Day hits, they’ve forgotten whatever it is they promised to do.

New Year’s resolutions are a good idea, only if you can make resolutions that matter and keep them. Here’s how to find and reach the goals that can truly change your life.

What do you get jealous of?

I’ve often found that the things I’m most envious of in other people are things I really want for myself.

For example, I’m not jealous of someone having a baby because I don’t really want kids. But I’m jealous of someone who’s making a living with their blog because that’s my biggest goal.

Think about when you’re jealous of other people. Is it when you see a friend who’s lost a lot of weight? Or is it someone who got back from a month-long trip around Asia?

What’s your biggest priority?

Some people treat new year’s resolutions with the same ferocity they approach an all-you-can-eat buffet. Then they wonder why they’re burnt out and exhausted after a few weeks.

Narrow your list of resolutions to what you really care about. Maybe you want to run a marathon and grow your side business. Trying to achieve both goals might drive you crazy to the point that you quit working on both.

Maybe you want to run a marathon and grow your side business. Trying to achieve both goals might drive you crazy to the point that you quit working on both.

Pick a goal that matters the most to you. It doesn’t mean you can’t work on the other, but choose one as your priority and give it your all.

If you’re not sure how to pick a goal here are some questions to ask:

  • What will have the biggest impact on my life
  • What will make me most fulfilled?
  • What have I always dreamed of doing?
  • What have I been too scared to try or afraid to fail?

Everyone’s resolutions are personal. What works for your best friends might not be good for you. Don’t feel pressured to choose a resolution because it’s what you think you should do.

How to keep those resolutions.

The hard part is keeping the resolutions you make. If you’re looking for a little help in that area, here are some of my favorite ways to stay on track:

Remember your why.

Every resolution comes from a starting point that many people seem to forget once January ends.

Keep a reminder of why you chose your resolution. For example, you can use a vision board, post-it note on your bathroom mirror, or a picture on your phone background to remind you of your reason.

For example, if you want to prepare for a hiking trip in September, an image of where you’re going might motivate you to hit the gym every week.

Set rewards.

Many resolutions have few rewards or incentives until you reach the end.

If you want to write a novel, you won’t feel truly satisfied until you finish it. That can slow you down and make you feel discouraged.

Allow yourself to celebrate the milestones you reach along the way. For example, for every 50 pages you write, treat yourself to a new book from your favorite writer or a night out at a beloved restaurant. Acknowledging how far you’ve come can keep you motivated when the end seems far away.

Find an accountability partner.

Studies show that people who exercised with a buddy had greater success than those who did their workouts alone.

No matter your resolution, an accountability partner can help you. You can ask a friend or find one online in a forum related to your goal. Schedule regular check-in sessions and set concrete goals with deadlines.

Choose SMART goals.

A resolution that’s more likely to succeed needs to be SMART: specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timely. For example, wanting to lose weight is too vague. Here’s an example: I will lose 50 pounds by working out twice a week with a trainer at my local gym.

Keep your goal to yourself.

Research shows that people who share goals before reaching them feel the same sense of accomplishment we those who complete them. Why try to accomplish your goal if you’ve already gotten the emotional satisfaction? Also, if you reveal a personal goal and someone criticizes it, you might get disenchanted. work on your resolution privately. It’ll also teach you to not seek validation from others and instead find it in yourself.

Why try to accomplish your goal if you’ve already gotten the emotional satisfaction? Also, if you reveal a personal goal and someone criticizes it, you might get disenchanted.

Work on your resolution privately. It’ll also teach you to not seek validation from others and instead find it in yourself.

Keep a journal.

For goals that aren’t based on numbers or dollar figures, it can be harder to keep track of your progress. That’s why I recommend keeping a journal or blog where you write down how your resolution is going.

If you’re trying to be less judgmental, writing down your thoughts about being judgmental can help you gain more understanding on how to achieve that.

Anytime I journal regularly, I feel more connected to my feelings and thoughts.

Pay attention to what matters to you, and work to make and keep resolutions that will enhance your life.

What are your favorite resolutions? How do you plan to achieve them?

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