Streamline your workouts, your morning makeup, even your resolution list. Here are eight New Year tips on how to look better and improve your health for 2012.
1. Focus Your New Year's Resolutions
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Got a long list of ways you want to overhaul your life? Simplify it and you'll tick off more by years end, says Kelly McGonigal, Ph.D., a health psychologist at Stanford University and author of The Willpower Instinct
. Setbacks are inevitable while making a change, she says, "but what's important is to not let one failure turn into an off week or month." Here's how to prioritize so you get real results.
Pick the one thing that matters most.
You're most likely to succeed if you stick with a resolution (or two) that is compelling and inspiring to you. How to tell what's a keeper? Pretend it's 2013: Are you grateful you made this change? If your answer is "eh," drop it.
Think big picture.
That old advice about making resolutions specific and measurable? Not quite spot on. You could, after all, check off your goal of exercising 30 minutes each day, then help yourself to a second piece of cake -- not consistent with your true overall desire to be fit. "Rather than an outcome like losing 20 pounds or saving $10,000, identify a value, like health or financial security, that becomes your focus for the new year," McGonigal says.
Give yourself a break.
Think about what you're pretty sure you can do -- then cut it in half. So if you want to save 10 percent of each paycheck this year, aim for 5 percent. And if you don't always hit the mark, don't get discouraged: Even if you saved only 2 percent this month, that's still in line with your overarching goal (financial health), so onward and upward!
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