Little Ways to Kick Butt This Year

Make your email password work for you.
Because you write it everyday, a password like “NewJob2012” or “headstandinyoga” will help drill a goal into your brian.

Turn off the TV during dinner.
We know, Whitney’s calling you, but studies prove people inhale 40 percent more food in front of the tube than sitting at a table. Forty percent!

Send a card to your grandma.
Experts agree that positive activity can boost your mood, so choose one genuinely nice thing – like checking in with a relative or walking your neighbor’s dog – and do it once a week.

Lock down a romance ritual.
Grab breakfast at a diner on your anniversary date each month, or take a walk every Sunday afternoon to chat. A little tradition that you both look forward to can boost your bond.

Force it for 15 minutes.
If you loathe cleaning your closet, tell yourself you’ll do it for only 15 minutes. By the end of that time you can walk away…but changes are, you’ll be far enough into the project that you’ll keep going.

Make a teeny-tiny resolution.
It can be practical (floss every morning) or fun (wear earrings every day). Why? Making a point to do something no matter what can increase overall willpower. Since you’re exercising the same skill set that you draw on when you are tackling a bigger or harder challenge.

Create a vision board.
This is also known as a collage of the stuff that gets you enthused. Experts say they focus your ambitions. Try – grab images online that move you or psych you up, “pin” them to an online board, and gain inspiration every time you look at it.

Move the crap out of your room.
When it’s filled with clothes, books, ad stuff you need to deal with, it’s hard to relax.

Look forward to your commute.
Instead of a time suck, think of it as a change to indulge in the things you love. Try listening to a friend’s indie playlist on Spotify or an audiobook you’ve always meant to read.

Change your desktop screen saver regularly.
Seeing photos that inspire you today (as opposed to those that inspired you last year) keeps you constantly moving forward toward your desires in life.

Stare Temptation in the face.
Say you crave candy every afternoon. Instead of trying to avoid it, put a bowl of treats by your computer, then tell yourself not to eat any. Experts swear resistance is surprisingly doable and can break your addiction.

Ask: What would T-Swift do?
Or Adele or Beyonce? A role model can motivate you. If Taylor Swift was faced with a choice between prepping for a presentation or hitting happy hour hard, which would she choose? Then do the same.

Only eat food on a plate.
Since you see exactly how much you’ve consumed, it staves off mindless (and endless) munching.

Pay for everything in cash.
When you actually witness the money leaving, it makes it harder to spend during spontaneous splurges.

Pop a mint.
Sugar (the real kind, not the fake stuff you find in diet drinks and food) has been proven to temporarily boost willpower. But a little goes a long way, so don’t use it as an excuse to mainline chocolate as you’re powering through.

Write a letter from your future self.
Something simple – like “Hey! I know it sucked to slave away on weekends, but this grad schools thing was worth it” on a Post-it placed in a prominent spot – is all you need. If you think of yourself as achieving the goal you want, you’ll be more apt to finish it.

Have a friend do the dirty work.
How to avoid a fried-food fest: Have a similarly menu-conscious friend order for you in a restaurant (and you do the same for her).

*found in Cosmopolitan Magazine
Jan 2012

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