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Resurrect Your New Year's Resolution

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Given up on all hope of maintaining the resolution you were so fervent about back in January? Believe it or not, you can still make good on your New Year's Resolution. Happiness expert and sociologist Dr. Christine Carter shares how.

According to Carter, the making of New Year's resolutions is a tradition practiced by even the Greeks and speaks to the need for humans to create positive changes in our lives. "When traumatic things happen," Carter says, "humans are forced to change. Resolutions are changes we want to make and not because they are forced."

Evolution is a necessary aspect of getting ahead. For many, we see making changes about our physical selves or our lives as needed next steps in our personal plan for achievement. A new calendar year gives the feeling of a fresh start and renewal, making it the ideal time for individuals to take stock and also observe ways to be better.

But making the resolution is the easy part. What does one do to maintain their resolution beyond Jan. 31? Dr. Carter says your resolution must excite you. If you hate the gym and resolved to go each and every day, chances you'll keep up this new, foreign behavior are unlikely. Yet, if you enjoy spending time with friends and you can convince a few to join you, this negative feeling becomes transmuted to a positive moment you become eager to enjoy week after week, month after month.

The psychology of keeping New Year's resolutions isn't exactly complicated. In fact, Dr. Carter insists small steps toward your goal are the best steps. "The way that you change is not by making a radical shifts in your behavior," says Carter. The impetus is on you to make your resolution easy to keep. Doing so lets you end the year full of confidence and encouragement that you have the power to better yourself, your health or your business across 2013 and beyond.

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