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As soon as the New Year passes, we start thinking about a new you. Every year, resolutions are set, and every year, resolutions are broken, and it might all be psychological.
A study published by the University of Scranton says 48% of people set resolutions, but only 8% are actually successful. So, University of Nebraska Professor of Psychology Carey Ryan gave some insight into the science behind staying on track. She says first, we need to create a plan.
"I mean these are habits, long standing habits that we want to change, and we don't always think about the details about how we might do it," Ryan said. "What kinds of things in our day to day lives prevent us from achieving those goals, and how might we change them so we are more likely to achieve them."
She says to also avoid big lofty goals, and set little milestones along the way. Instead of saying I'm going to eat healthier, instead make it something like I'm going to have one more serving of vegetables per day.
It's also important to reward yourself, but don't make that reward go against your objective. If you're trying to lose weight, don't reward yourself with a brownie.
And finally, have an accountability system. A workout partner is a good option, or you can even use your phone to help you reach your goals. There are a number of apps that will help you track your workouts, get organized, or even keep up with your finances.
One of the top resolutions is to lose weight. Gyms become packed with people after the 1st of the year, but give it a month or two, and many people give up on their weight loss resolutions. But here are six smart strategies to help you stay on track in 2015.
1. The biggest mistake people make when it comes to sticking to your resolution is skipping breakfast. Then you overindulge because you are hungry. Instead, find something packed with protein to keep you full.
2. Make the resolution realistic. Losing ten pounds in two weeks probably isn't going to happen, but something like two pounds in two weeks might actually be attainable.
3. Cut calories by making simple substitutions. Opt for lower calorie versions at restaurants, or use low calorie sweeteners at home. Cutting 150 calories a day over the course of a year could result in a 5 to 10 pound weight loss.
4. Using a smaller plate can make a huge difference. You're plate will still be full, which will trick your mind, but you won't be consuming quite as much food.
5. Use a fork and a knife to eat any snacks you are grabbing. If you use your hands you are more likely to mindlessly snack
6. And finally, just be more active. Hitting the gym is great, but you can sneak in physical activity all the time. Park farther away from the store, or take the stairs instead of the elevator.
If you want to get a jump start on your weightloss goals, Lifetime Fitness might be able to help you. All weekend, the club will open its doors for Commitment Festival. The fitness center will be open to the public for free, and you can participate in workshops, nutrition seminars, and other club sponsored events.
If saving money is at the top of your priorities for 2015, there are some ways you can sneak dollars back into your pocket.
First, reduce the amount of meat you eat. 1 pound of ground hamburger meat can cost as much as $6.00. If you cut meat out of three meals a week, you will save almost 1,000 dollars a year.
Brownbag it or bring your own lunch. A survey by a staffing firm found that more than 66 percent of workers spend around 2,000 dollars a year on lunch. If you start bringing your own every day, you can cut those costs by at least 50 percent.
Consider reworking your fitness plan. Even if you only pay 35 dollars a month, that's still almost 500 dollars a year. See if there are any ways you can reduce your costs, or consider running outside or investing in workout videos for at home.
Ditch the land-line. If you primarily use your cell phone, it probably doesn't serve much purpose anyway. Cutting your landline service can save 25 to 30 dollars a month, totaling about 300 dollars a year.
Use household products instead of commercial ones. You can spend a good chunk of your income on products designed to only do one job, or you can start looking around your house. Baking soda can substitute as a facial scrub and vinegar can clean your windows.
And turn off premium channels. Channels like HBO, Cinemax, and Showtime can each cost about 13 dollars a month, or $39 for all three. By cutting them off today, in a year you will be almost 500 dollars richer.
The key to success is to pick a set amount you want to save.
"Instead of saying 'I want to save more money', identify a reasonable amount that you can save, and set that aside first thing as one of your financial obligations," Ryan said. "So instead of waiting to see what you have, consider that that's a primary, that's one of your bills to pay each month, and making it a realistic amount."
If you follow each of these strategies, in one year, you can save a total of $3,300 dollars, putting you on the right track for your resolution.