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Boost Your Resolution Planning

When you pour your first cup of coffee, it will come as no surprise that caffeine boosts attention and focus, but it’s especially good for simple cognitive tasks. Anywhere from 40 mg to 250 mg of caffeine increases alertness. That’s less than you think – simply one cup can provide the boost you need to power through some of your more routine tasks.

You can take full advantage of that little extra momentum to clean out your inbox, sort mail, make necessary callbacks, any of those little tasks that many of us put off and allow to pile up.

It’s a great time to enjoy your java while writing down your resolutions. If your New Year's resolutions from last year have gone unresolved, you're not alone. But here are some quick tips to help you get a little further along this year.

  • "Put some thought into it," says Richard O'Connor, author of Happy at Last: The Thinking Person's Guide to Finding Joy. Avoid knee-jerk New Year's resolutions, he says. "I encourage people not to make cheap resolutions, but to save it for something meaningful."
  • Limit your list to a number you can handle. "It's probably best to make two or three resolutions that you intend to keep," says O'Connor. That way, you're focusing your efforts on the goals you truly want.
  • Don’t wait until the last minute. If your resolution is a big one, it is good to think about it in advance. Start to change your way of thinking gradually, so as you tackle it in the New Year it isn’t as much of a shock.
  • Make a plan. Everyone needs a path to get to where they want to be. Create a goal with a series of measureable, specific steps to check your progress along the way and ensure you achieve your resolution.
  • Use the buddy system. Make friends and family aware of your goals. They will hold you accountable while still motivating you to actually reach your goals.
  • Avoid repeating past failures. If you make the same goal every year, and have yet to reach it, it’s probably time to try something new. By making the exact same resolution every year, your drive and self-confidence will already be low. If you are really set on making the same resolution that failed in the past, evaluate why it might not have succeeded before and adjust it based on your results!
  • Write down the goal and visualize it regularly. Writing and visualizing are effective tools for fulfilling a goal because they fix it firmly in the subconscious, says Stephen Covey, author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.

In general, remember that life can be unpredictable. Resolutions are much easier to make than to keep, so forgive yourself if you can’t maintain your plan perfectly. Just keep adjusting and moving forward toward your goal.

Happy 2016!