Maybe it's not entirely our fault if resolutions fall by the wayside a few weeks into the year. It turns out, our success or failure at reaching the goal boils down to one simple mind trick that we might not be using.

It comes down to the phrasing.  If our minds don't realize they are being robbed of comfort they'll be happier, and we'll stay on track toward our goals.

Here's an example.  If the goal is to eat healthier and we tell ourselves we're going to "avoid sweets" we're setting ourselves up for failure because sweets are a broad category and it's nearly impossible to avoid chocolate entirely.  We're better off saying we're going to "add carrots once a day" and have something to measure ourselves by. puts it this way. "Rather than telling yourself you'll stop or avoid doing something, tell yourself you're going to start doing something instead. For example, a resolution to stop sitting around so much becomes a resolution to attend a regular workout class."

And the effects are long-lasting.  Fifty-three percent of those with approach-orientated goals considered themselves successful a year after making their resolutions, but those centered on avoiding certain things were successful less than half of the time.  Again, avoiding chocolate is hard.  And also silly because chocolate is a coping mechanism and delicious, and it's probably better to resolve to add more in.

Looking back over my own ups and downs with weight, it appears that the minute we feel deprived of something we want more of it, and fighting off the urge to indulge just makes us mad.  Mad people cave on goals pretty quickly.

Addition instead of subtraction is the mind trick that will help us set goals in the new year and win.

People will joke about broken resolutions and abandoned goals after seven days into the new year, but don't listen to 'em!   While they're busy avoiding chocolate, cheesecake, and bacon, we'll be adding carrots, water, and squats and feeling good about life because we are adding and not subtracting.

The top resolutions this year involve physical health, weight loss, eating habits, personal growth, mental health, and sleep.  Good luck.

READ MORE: 10 free apps to help you get fit in our new normal

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