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6 proven hacks that'll help you keep your New Year's resolutions
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The vast majority of humanity can't wait to put 2020 in the rearview mirror and embrace 2021 with open arms. Although the COVID epidemic isn't going to end overnight, we can be pretty certain that in four, five, or maybe six months, the world will start to resemble the one we once knew.

So, in the meantime, we can use the new year as an excuse to take stock of our lives and work on some personal changes, so when the pandemic does subside, we'll be ready to live our best life.


A study reported by Inverse found that 44% of Americans are likely or very likely to make a New Year's resolution for 2021.

However, historically the number of people who achieve their resolutions is pretty low. A report in Forbes shows that only about 35% of people actually stay committed to their New Year's goals after the first month, and only 8% accomplish them.

But don't let that get you down. A big reason why people fail at achieving their resolutions is they don't know how to implement personal change.

So we've put together a list of advice from some experts in the fields of psychology and business to help you create a fool-proof plan to achieve your 2021 resolutions.

It's not about will power

"Even though we tend to think that those who keep their self-commitments are enormously disciplined people who are better able than the rest of us to wrestle their unhealthy impulses to the ground, it turns out that those folks don't see themselves that way at all," Erika Andersen, author of "Growing Great Employees, Being Strategic, Leading So People Will Follow and Be Bad First," wrote in Forbes.

"They report being moved toward keeping their self-commitments by strong positive motivations: passion, hope, compassion, excitement, curiosity," Andersen adds.

So if you're looking to lose weight, reframe your thinking around the positive benefits you will get from the change rather than focusing on the discomfort of self-denial.

via Unsplash

Addition by subtraction

A study out of Sweden found that "Fifty-nine percent of participants who set 'approach-oriented' New Year's resolutions— those that were additive, not eliminating — considered themselves successful in keeping up their goals."

However, only "47 percent of participants who set avoidance-oriented resolutions considered themselves to be successful."

So basically it's a lot easier for people to start new behaviors than to stop old ones. A big reason is that when we place limitations on a behavior, such as eating chocolate, our brain turns it into forbidden fruit that becomes an even greater fixation. Instead, focus on starting a habit of eating more fruit.

Make your goal measurable

Jen Sincero, author of "Badass Habits: Cultivate the Awareness, Boundaries, and Daily Upgrades You Need to Make Them Stick,' says the more specific we make our goals, the better.

Instead of making the resolution to, "drink more water," one should pledge something like this: "During the first week of January, I am going to drink three 8-ounce glasses of water a day."

Baby steps

Sincero says that the shorter the time frame we give for our goals, the more likely we are to achieve them. So if you're looking to stop drinking, tell yourself, "I won't drink today" and you'll be more likely to achieve your goal than if you say, "I won't drink all month," which may be too daunting of a task.

This also allows you to stack up victories and stay motivated to achieve your ultimate goal.

Prepare for the dip

Everyone is ready to make big life changes on New Year's day, but what about two weeks later, when you're tired of substituting fruit for chocolate or you really want to plunk down $50 on takeout instead of saving money by cooking for yourself?

By preparing for the dip, we can be ready to answer the big question: "Why am I doing this?" Be sure that you're mentally prepared to answer this question in an unequivocal way when your motivation has waned.

"I am being responsible so that I can live life without crippling financial anxiety."

"I am creating healthy new habits so that I can have more energy and can be more active with my children."

"I am creating a smoke-free lifestyle so that I can live longer, save money, and be free from addiction."

It's also good to regularly spend time thinking through your resolution and imagining a world where you've been successful, to increase your motivation.

Make it fun

Creating new habits doesn't have to be boring or difficult. The more fun we have with our new behaviors, the more likely we are to continue them. Substitute old habits for new ones that you enjoy just as much.

If you hate running on a treadmill, start riding a bike. If you are trying to save money, spend time learning how to cook to replace the fun of eating out. If you are looking to drop a few pounds, replace unhealthy foods that you like with healthy snacks that are just as pleasurable.

Joy

1991 blooper clip of Robin Williams and Elmo is a wholesome nugget of comedic genius

Robin Williams is still bringing smiles to faces after all these years.

Robin Williams and Elmo (Kevin Clash) bloopers.

The late Robin Williams could make picking out socks funny, so pairing him with the fuzzy red monster Elmo was bound to be pure wholesome gold. Honestly, how the puppeteer, Kevin Clash, didn’t completely break character and bust out laughing is a miracle. In this short outtake clip, you get to see Williams crack a few jokes in his signature style while Elmo tries desperately to keep it together.

Williams has been a household name since what seems like the beginning of time, and before his death in 2014, he would make frequent appearances on "Sesame Street." The late actor played so many roles that if you were ask 10 different people what their favorite was, you’d likely get 10 different answers. But for the kids who spent their childhoods watching PBS, they got to see him being silly with his favorite monsters and a giant yellow canary. At least I think Big Bird is a canary.

When he stopped by "Sesame Street" for the special “Big Bird's Birthday or Let Me Eat Cake” in 1991, he was there to show Elmo all of the wonderful things you could do with a stick. Williams turns the stick into a hockey stick and a baton before losing his composure and walking off camera. The entire time, Elmo looks enthralled … if puppets can look enthralled. He’s definitely paying attention before slumping over at the realization that Williams goofed a line. But the actor comes back to continue the scene before Elmo slinks down inside his box after getting Williams’ name wrong, which causes his human co-star to take his stick and leave.

The little blooper reel is so cute and pure that it makes you feel good for a few minutes. For an additional boost of serotonin, check out this other (perfectly executed) clip about conflict that Williams did with the two-headed monster. He certainly had a way of engaging his audience, so it makes sense that even after all of these years, he's still greatly missed.

Noe Hernandez and Maria Carrillo, the owners of Noel Barber Shop in Anaheim, California.

Jordyn Poulter was the youngest member of the U.S. women’s volleyball team, which took home the gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics last year. She was named the best setter at the Tokyo games and has been a member of the team since 2018.

Unfortunately, according to a report from ABC 7 News, her gold medal was stolen from her car in a parking garage in Anaheim, California, on May 25.

It was taken along with her passport, which she kept in her glove compartment. While storing a gold medal in your car probably isn’t the best idea, she did it to keep it by her side while fulfilling the hectic schedule of an Olympian.

"We live this crazy life of living so many different places. So many of us play overseas, then go home, then come out here and train,” Poulter said, according to ABC 7. "So I keep the medal on me (to show) friends and family I haven't seen in a while, or just people in the community who want to see the medal. Everyone feels connected to it when they meet an Olympian, and it's such a cool thing to share with people."

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