Photo by Marissa Angell

January 1st may be a few days past, but it’s never too late to tackle New Year’s resolutions. And for all the non-believers out there, research shows that making resolutions can actually make a difference. In one study, subjects were 10 times more likely to succeed if they made a formal resolution rather than just wanting to change a habit.

Step 1 is obvious: Get started… now! It’s never a bad time to make a resolution, and you’ll need a couple days to mull things over and make plans, so stop everything (well, you can finish reading this email) and start planning. Step 2: Scratch the generics like “exercise more” and “stress less” off the list now— having concrete goals makes sticking to them easier (think: “I will exercise every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday”). Step 3: Keep things realistic. After breaking things down into daily steps, you’ll have a good grasp of whether it’ll be doable (and maybe even enjoyable). Read on for even more planning pointers!

The Takeaway: Making resolutions can help us reach health and fitness goals, but it takes more than desire. Start planning now to get things on track for 2012.

The Latest Greatist Challenge

Greatist writer, Kelly Fitzpatrick, is undertaking our newest Greatist Challenge: eating healthy on a budget. Check in with this week’s post to get all the deets.

Fun Fact

Travie McCoy’s New Year’s Resolution is to quit smoking, which is one of the most common goals out there.