5 ways to get back on track with your goals this year

It's almost February, so if you've already abandoned your New Year's resolutions or are just bored and wondering what to do next, you're not alone. The truth is that most people give up on their resolutions by January 17th; it's so common that the date has actually earned the nickname "Ditch Day." And while it's totally okay to deviate from your resolutions, you don't need to just because it's the norm.

Life happens whether we're prepared or not, and it's never too late to reevaluate and recommit yourself to your 2017 goals. Get after what you want with these 5 strategies proven to get even the guiltiest ditchers back on track.

1. Be Specific

Many success stories trace their roots back to positive thinking, but being positive isn't enough. People who create ambitious and specific goals are often more successful than those who try to do their best. Of course, everyone's best is different. Whatever it is, it's never too late to surprise yourself and beat your personal best.

2. Plan Ahead

The time to hone in on what you want is now. Science shows that small changes lead to big results. This means that the more small adjustments you make to your lifestyle today will make it easier for your new habits to stick long-term. If achieving your dreams doesn't convince you to reevaluate, the fact that the chemical dopamine is released when you lead a more structured day might. Yes, making time for your goals each day might just make you feel like you're falling in love (with your life).

3. Don't Overshare

While sitting down and sharing goals with your family and friends can be an important part of your relationship, it doesn't actually help you move any closer towards making your resolutions routine. Take the time to envision what you want early on so when you finally take the plunge and tell everyone what you've been working on you'll be ready and not just starry-eyed.

4. Visualize It

With high-powered influencers like Oprah singing their praises it's no wonder vision boards are becoming increasingly popular and people are breaking out the foam board. If the idea of a vision board sounds too cheesy, mental visualization can actually help you reap the same benefits. A study of strength building, for instance, showed that those who physically exercised and those who just visualized it both grew stronger.

5. Automate It

Make the most of your phone (you might as well since it's practically attached to your hand) and download an app that makes goal setting easy and fast. The website Shine, for example, texts you daily with inspirational content to keep you on track, while apps like Momentum and Streaks track your progress as you form new habits.

Embrace these tips, throw your excuses to the wind, and crush your goals in no time!

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