Want to Stick to Your New Year’s Resolution? Start Now

Cn0ra/iStock via Getty Images
Cn0ra/iStock via Getty Images

If your New Year’s resolution is to rein in your sweet tooth, you might want to drop the Christmas cookie currently on its way to your mouth. We know it seems a little early to be turning over a new leaf—of lettuce, in your case—but getting in a practice round before 2020 could give you the best possible chance of success.

As The New York Times explains, we often set New Year’s resolutions that are either too general or too difficult. It’s not easy to stick to an unclear goal like “making healthy choices” or “being more financially responsible,” because it’s not totally obvious what that entails. Having said that, defining a resolution in no uncertain terms doesn’t necessarily ensure that you’ll follow it—since it’s possible that those terms are just way too hard to adhere to. If your clear-cut goal is to cut out all processed foods, for example, but you’ve spent the last decade relying on bagged snacks and frozen individual dinners as your main source of energy, you might find yourself starving, confused, and standing in the chip aisle at your grocery store on January 4.

In a nutshell, there are a lot of factors to consider when devising a New Year’s resolution, and it helps to have a little extra time to work out any unforeseen kinks before you debut the new you come January 1. Maybe you, unbeknownst to anyone, try cutting out all processed foods on December 27 this year, fail spectacularly, and revise your resolution to “replacing one processed meal per day with a homemade one.”

Beginning early will also give you a head start when it comes to seeing results in 2020, which is another incentive to stay committed to your resolution. According to a University of Chicago study [PDF] from 2016, people are more motivated to stick to their long-term goals when they’re instantly rewarded for them. If you’re not immediately seeing the number on the scale go down or the number in your bank account go up, for instance, you might lose faith and give up completely. But, with a week or two of resolution-ing already behind you when the new year kicks off, it might make you feel like your results are a little more instantaneous.

Can’t quite bring yourself to abandon that cookie just yet? That’s OK, too—here are 10 other ways to help you stick to your New Year’s resolution.

[h/t The New York Times]

Wayfair’s Fourth of July Clearance Sale Takes Up to 60 Percent Off Grills and Outdoor Furniture

Wayfair/Weber
Wayfair/Weber

This Fourth of July, Wayfair is making sure you can turn your backyard into an oasis while keeping your bank account intact with a clearance sale that features savings of up to 60 percent on essentials like chairs, hammocks, games, and grills. Take a look at some of the highlights below.

Outdoor Furniture

Brisbane bench from Wayfair
Brisbane/Wayfair

- Jericho 9-Foot Market Umbrella $92 (Save 15 percent)
- Woodstock Patio Chairs (Set of Two) $310 (Save 54 percent)
- Brisbane Wooden Storage Bench $243 (Save 62 percent)
- Kordell Nine-Piece Rattan Sectional Seating Group with Cushions $1800 (Save 27 percent)
- Nelsonville 12-Piece Multiple Chairs Seating Group $1860 (Save 56 percent)
- Collingswood Three-Piece Seating Group with Cushions $410 (Save 33 percent)

Grills and Accessories

Dyna-Glo electric smoker.
Dyna-Glo/Wayfair

- Spirit® II E-310 Gas Grill $479 (Save 17 percent)
- Portable Three-Burner Propane Gas Grill $104 (Save 20 percent)
- Digital Bluetooth Electric Smoker $224 (Save 25 percent)
- Cuisinart Grilling Tool Set $38 (Save 5 percent)

Outdoor games

American flag cornhole game.
GoSports

- American Flag Cornhole Board $57 (Save 19 percent)
- Giant Four in a Row Game $30 (Save 6 percent)
- Giant Jenga Game $119 (Save 30 percent)

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This Outdoor Lantern Will Keep Mosquitoes Away—No Bug Spray Necessary

Thermacell, Amazon
Thermacell, Amazon

With summer comes outdoor activities, and with those activities come mosquito bites. If you're one of the unlucky people who seem to attract the insects, you may be tempted to lock yourself inside for the rest of the season. But you don't have to choose between comfort and having a cocktail on the porch, because this lamp from Thermacell ($25) keeps outdoor spaces mosquito-free without the mess of bug spray.

The device looks like an ordinary lantern you would display on a patio, but it works like bug repellent. When it's turned on, a fuel cartridge in the center provides the heat needed to activate a repellent mat on top of the lamp. Once activated, the repellent in the mat creates a 15-by-15-foot bubble of protection that repels any mosquitos nearby, making it a great option for camping trips, days by the pool, and backyard barbecues.

Mosquito repellent lantern.

Unlike some other mosquito repellents, this lantern is clean, safe, and scent-free. It also provides light like a real lamp, so you can keep pests away without ruining your backyard's ambience.

The Thermacell mosquito repellent lantern is now available on Amazon. If you've already suffered your first mosquito bites of the summer, here's some insight into why that itch can be so excruciating.

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