As 2015 winds down this week, we're all searching for a way to kick the New Year off right - and for most of us that means a resolution or two. It's easy to fall into bad habits when the cookies and wine and presents are plentiful each December, jump-start January with something a little more productive.
Starting fresh on January 1st, however, is a rookie mistake. Start tapering toward your resolution now for the best chance at success. Here are some tips to lay the foundation:
Make a plan - waking up on Friday without any idea how you want to improve this year is a great way to make sure your resolution never gets off the ground. Know what you want to do beforehand - are you dead-set on running a half-marathon this year? Want to start eating more fruit and veggies? Trying to get to work on-time for a change? Pick something before it's time to actually execute.
Start small now - So you want to drink more water in 2016. There's absolutely nothing stopping you from doing that a few days early. Start ramping up the hydration now (trust us - you'll thank yourself on Friday morning) so it's not totally shocking on Friday morning when you're suddenly chugging water.
Recognize your privilege - Pair your resolution with something that recognizes other people aren't as lucky as you are. So you've resolved to drink a bunch of water everyday? In a lot of parts of the world that's a huge luxury - which is a great reason to help other people stay healthy by donating to a charity that's related to your resolution. Charity:Water is matching all donations from now through the 31st.
Scope for deals - Gyms know you're on the hunt for a good deal in January. Scoping them out in December is the way to actually save some money. Itching to try spinning? Love hot yoga? Devoted to barre? Just looking for a good old-fashioned gym? They're all offering deals, especially for new members. Take advantage now and stick it out until February for a really great shot at actually making your resolution a reality.
Mess up early - Getting discouraged on January 3rd hurts. Getting discouraged on December 30th is easy. Didn't make it to the gym yesterday? Nobody cares - it's 2015. Mess up this week so you can bring home the win next week.
Be content - Guys, resolutions are sometimes really silly. Don't feel pressured to make one if your life is peachy keen. If you're content with the way things are going, good for you. Bask in that good luck and resolve to keep doing what you're doing in 2016!