How To Keep The Most Common New Year's Resolutions

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Photo: Charmingyah

Each New Year brings the feeling of a clean slate and the chance to start over. For many, that means setting goals for self-improvement — and then promptly breaking those resolutions halfway through February.Maintaining a new routine or promise to yourself takes effort — not only do you have to be ready for the change, you also need the willpower to avoid falling back into old habits.

But more than anything, it takes strategy. Which is why we made a list of the 10 most common New Year’s resolutions, along with a bunch of helpful tips to help you stay the course.

Lose weight/get in shape

One of the most common New Year's resolutions for Americans is to hit the gym harder. And even though Bloomberg estimated last year that it would cost as much as $7,979 a year to get in shape, it doesn't have to be that expensive.

There are a ton of iPhone apps that keep track of calories plus budget-friendly weight loss tips to help you reach your goal. Just make sure to get lots of sleep -- sleep-deprived people lose 60% less weight when they diet.

Get a (new) job

First, ask yourself key questions about what kind of worker you are before getting your resume in order and starting to network with all the people in your industry. Knowing what tasks you're good at and what your major skills are will help you sift through available jobs.

Not tied down? Consider moving to one of the 14 best cities for finding a job, or away from the 10 worst cities for finding a job.

Talk to your mum more

Keeping in touch with people -- whether its your mum or your business contacts-- is about making priorities for yourself. If you put 20 minutes aside for a phone call or to write an email, chances are you're more likely to do it.

There are a ton of reminder apps to help you schedule your day. Or if you have terrible service, consider switching to a new carrier to get the most out of your phone calls.

Save money

There are literally tons of ways to save money -- apps you can get, ways to save on groceries, and by drinking less alcohol.

There are also a lot of tiny ways to change your routine to help keep you from spending, from packing a lunch every day to selling unused gift cards.

Get organised

Getting organised is all about taking little steps. Start with the surfaces in your home, such as your desk and tables, before moving on to your drawers. Give old clothes to charities such as Goodwill, and remove the clutter from your email box by creating folders and moving spam to the trash.

As for your desk? Consider getting a desktop organiser to help your work space stay clean, too.

Read more

In a world where you can lean back and watch Netflix and Hulu Plus, reading may sound more like a chore than a relaxation exercise.

But reading is good for you, so consider downloading some news and EBook apps for your commute or when you're stuck in line. There's a bunch of books you can get for free on Kindle alone, and if you're still feeling uninspired, take a look at the infographic for the top 10 most-read books in the world.

Give up a bad habit

Whether it's soda, smoking, or a person, steps for giving up a bad habit are all virtually the same -- be aware of your habit, find the triggers, replace your habits with other ones, and manipulate your environment so you don't have to rely on self control.

But the number one trick is not giving up and believing that the change will stick. Without believing in yourself, you will subconsciously undermine your own efforts.

Be more spontaneous

Being spontaneous can be helpful in everything from work to your personal life. People can learn a lot from improv classes about going with the flow, and remember to be confident when you take a risk.

And if you need a little push to be spontaneous and take an impromptu trip, take a took at these all-inclusive hotels and see if you don't get inspired to jet off somewhere immediately.

Find a significant other

There are many ways to attract a member of the opposite sex, but sometimes its not easy to meet people in real life so don't rule out online dating.

The pros definitely outweigh the cons -- the people on websites like eHarmony and are more likely to be in it for the long haul, and certain sites like even let you specify your matches by religion.

And if you feel like there's no dating site out there for you, check out a niche dating site. With everything from dating for beautiful people to vegetarians, you're sure to find something to sign up for.

Learn something new

Learning something new improves our self-confidence and brain function, not to mention how helpful it can be to our personal and work lives. Follow this 4-step process for mastering any skill, or check out the easiest foreign languages for English speakers to learn.

Better yet, make a trip out of it and relax while learning at these top 10 how-to hotels.

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