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How to Keep Your New Year's Resolutions

Nick Onken

You resolve to lose ten pounds. But after three guilt-ridden doughnut disasters, your goal's toast by February. Sound familiar? Unless you've got white-knuckle willpower, typical resolutions are bound to fail, says David Palmiter, Jr., Ph.D., from the American Psychological Association. Instead, set yourself up to succeed.

Resolution: Lose weight


Determine why you want to shed pounds ("I want to lose weight to gain energy," for example), and make that your focus. Keeping your eyes on the prize will make choosing healthy foods easier. Slipups? They're simply learning opportunities—tomorrow's a new day!

Resolution: Spend Less Money


Start small. Thinking you have to make cuts across the board can be overwhelming, leading to even more money stress. Choose one change a month, like spending less on dinner out with the girls. Having a potluck instead means plenty of bonding, sans the bill.

Resolution: More Time With Family


Make a list of the five things that matter most to you, then make another one of how your timeís spent. Chances are the lists won't match - bills do have to be paid - but you can work at it. Ask, "What decisions can I make today to see more of my family?" From choosing not to work late to postponing an errand, the closer you can make the lists, the more family time you'll snag.