“New year, new me.” A lot of people make ambitious New Year resolutions, but how many are actually kept? Research suggests that only eight percent of Americans actually stick to their New Year’s resolutions.

What happens to the remaining 92 percent? They find themselves back at the starting point, mostly because their goals were set unreasonably high or were just flat out unattainable. So let’s focus on setting New Year’s resolutions that are actually achievable.


1. Smile and Give Compliments

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Especially in those dark, grey months of January and February, a sunny attitude is key. Walk into work and smile at the first person you see. Compliment people on the streets. Tell your close friends, your family, and your significant other how much you care about them.

Positivity is contagious and a bright personality may even open some doors. A study found that employees who smile regularly tend to be promoted quicker than those who don’t. There is no guarantee that really works, but trying it out can’t hurt, right?


2. Put Away Social Media For a Few Hours

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There’s no point in ranting about how bad having your eyes stuck to your smartphone is for you. Many of us seem to have adopted this bad habit but the solution is simple. Consciously put away your smartphone for a few hours before bed and you’ll be able to concentrate on those around you and get a better sleep!


3. Do One Productive Thing A Day

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A lazy Sunday, a cozy blanket, hot chocolate, and Netflix, doesn’t that sound tempting? Having a lazy day is completely fine (and sometimes even needed), but if your New Year’s resolution was to be more productive, then Netflix won’t be your friend.

The good thing is that small steps go a long way. Once you start doing one productive thing every day, you’ll feel more energized and accomplished. This can be anything from doing 10 pushups to filling out a job application. You could also cook a nice meal, go for a walk around the park, buy groceries for the week, do laundry, or clean the kitchen. There’s always something to do!


4. Appreciate What You Have

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A big reason why we can never be 100 percent happy is our aspiration. Sure, having the desire to achieve more in your career and personal life is great, and it keeps you moving forward. However, it also makes us think that enough is never enough. For 2018, try getting into the habit of appreciating the good things in your life, rather than dwelling on the negative ones or beating yourself up about them.

For instance, your presentation at work didn’t go well and you received criticism from your boss. At the same time, this means that you have a challenging job that allows for growth, as opposed to being unemployed or being stuck in a job that doesn’t stimulate your brain.


5. Set Short-Term GoalsRunning pixabay.com

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Have a long-term goal to eat healthier? Get in shape? Be more productive? According to surveys, these are the most common New Year’s resolutions people attempt to achieve. However, most of us shoot for the moon and then get disappointed when we don’t meet our lofty goals. Instead, try hitting a short-term goal each week or reset your specific goal every day.

For instance, if you’re trying to be healthier, make sure to eat one piece of fruit every day. That way, you’ve got one easily achievable goal that will encourage you to keep improving. This is a great way to approach budgeting as well, particularly if you’re trying to save up for that daunting down payment.


6. Complain Less
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Getting home from work and dropping all of your issues in your roommate or partner’s lap? Don’t worry, you don’t need to stop doing that. Just complain differently. Tim Ferriss, bestselling author and angel investor, defines complaining as “describing an event or person negatively without indicating next steps to fix the problem.” This means you’re still allowed to complain, as long as you follow it up with real ways to solve the issue.

Instead of just saying, “work is so stressful, I’m burned out,” say (and think), “work is super stressful right now, I have to find ways to be more productive or manage my time more efficiently.” While this may seem silly, it’s a great way to change your perspective and inject some positivity into your daily routine.