New Year, Healthier You

New Year’s resolutions are a bit like babies: They’re fun to make but extremely difficult to maintain.

Get-in-shape goals tend to fizzle as early as the third week of January, per recent data based on Facebook searches. Yet some keep at it. What’s their secret? People who are successful are more likely to view fitness as a permanent lifestyle change, not an activity they can give up once they reach a number on the scale.

Raise the stakes: Research shows that anticipating rewards may help you be more devoted to your goal. Sure, it’s a bribe of sorts, but experiment with promising yourself a mani-pedi after a week of true commitment, or a new gym outfit after two. Or put a penalty on the table: Promise to go TV-less for a week if you don’t follow through.

Take a time-out daily: Vow to disconnect at least once a day. Close your eyes and take 10 deep breaths in your office, or crank up a soothing playlist on your commute.