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The Up Beat
By Amy Wong

Positive Thinking Tips: One Rule for Keeping Resolutions

I was at a party in Brooklyn on New Year’s Eve when the talk turned to resolutions. “What’s yours for 2012?” someone asked me. I shrugged. “I don’t have one,” I said. “I don’t really do resolutions.”

“Come on,” our host, my friend Christine, said. “You’re one of the few people I know who joined a gym and actually stuck with it. It’s been, what—three years now?—and you still work out all the time!”

Well, not all the time, more like four or five times a week. And it wasn’t a New Year’s or any resolution (I joined the gym in the fall) but I had to admit to the other guests that otherwise, Christine was right. I’d surprised myself and managed to turn a somewhat vague goal of getting fitter and stronger into a positive habit, one that’s good for body, mind and soul.

“How did you do it?” everyone wanted to know. “Did you hire a trainer? Did you follow some special program? What’s your trick?”

No trainer. No special program. No tricks. I just followed (and still do) one simple rule: I don’t go more than two days without exercising. (Anything that gets my heart rate up counts, even running around the playground with my nephew and nieces.)

It’s a rule that works for almost every healthy habit you'd want to develop: Don’t go more than two days without ___________. Fill in the blank with the positive change you want to make in your life.

Exercising, eating vegetables, cooking a healthy meal, connecting with a friend, writing in your prayer journal, sitting down for a family dinner, reading something that expands your horizons, singing, thinking positive, expressing gratitude ... Be as specific as you like here.

Just one simple rule. Try it and let me know how it goes!

Amy Wong is the executive editor of Guideposts and was a founding editor of Positive Thinking. She lives in New York City with her adopted dog, Winky, a natural-born positive thinker who believes that everyone has a treat for her and every day is the best day of her life. Amy hopes to be that optimistic someday (she’s working on it!).