One Simple Trick To Make Your Health Goals Stick

How are your New Year’s resolutions going?

If you’re like most people, those goals you set at the beginning of 2015 are already starting to fall by the wayside. But if you want to jumpstart your resolutions and keep them going strong, don’t beat yourself up. New research published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Science suggests that pairing goals with positive self-affirmations could be key to helping you stick to your guns.

Here’s how the experiment went down. Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania, University of Michigan at Ann Arbor and University of California, Los Angeles recruited 67 sedentary, generally overweight but healthy adults and told them they were participants in a study on “daily activities” that would simply record their movements with an accelerometer.

In reality, they were part of a randomized, controlled trial on whether positive self-affirmations could better help them receive and apply health advice. To establish a baseline of activity level, everyone was fitted with a waterproof wrist accelerometer. Researchers also presented participants with a list of eight values (creativity, friends and family, humor, independence, money, politics, religion and spontaneity) and asked them to rank the values from most to least important.

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