Tag Archives: Holidays

These Are the Best Airports to Get Stuck in This Holiday Season

When it comes to airports in the United States, there are definite winners and losers. Some offer amazing places to eat and flights that are almost always on time, while others have tons of delays and one Hudson News where you can grab an overpriced bag of Chex Mix to ride out that 8-hour layover.

Read more…

Transport Hot Dishes In Your Car With a Towel-Lined Box

If you’re heading to a potluck dinner or on making your way to a big family meal, this spill-free transport technique will keep your hot dish nice and warm.

You can have somebody hold your dish, or set it on your seat, but when it gets dropped all over the floor of your car all that hard work you put into goes right out the window. That’s why Sheela Prakash at The Kitchn suggests a better transport alternative. Get an empty cardboard box, line with thick bath towels, then rest your dish inside. The food will keep warm sitting all snug in the towels, and it will be almost impossible to spill anything on the interior of your ride. If there are any spills, they’ll be safely contained in the box.

5 Tips to Help You Pack a Dish for a Trip in the Car | The Kitchn

Photo by Personal Creations.

These Airports Have the Most Delays Around Thanksgiving

If you’re traveling around the holidays, you should probably expect delays at the airport. However, some are more prone to delays than others. This list shows the airports that are most likely to experience delays.

Travel site Wanderbat put together a list of the 60 airports most likely to experience a delay, including how long the average delay is. For convenience, personal finance site Frugal Travel Guy collected the top 20 in list form:

  1. Akron-Canton Regional: 23% of flights delayed, average delay 18 minutes
  2. Chicago Midway: 23% of flights delayed, average delay 17 minutes
  3. Newark Liberty: 21% of flights delayed, average delay 12 minutes
  4. Syracuse Hancock: 20% of flights delayed, average delay 17 minutes
  5. Palm Beach: 18% of flights delayed, average delay 8 minutes
  6. Chicago O’Hare: 18% of flights delayed, average delay 11 minutes
  7. La Guardia: 18% of flights delayed, average delay 10 minutes
  8. Baltimore/Washington: 18% of flights delayed, average delay 10 minutes
  9. Lambert-St. Louis: 18% of flights delayed, average delay 10 minutes
  10. Hobby Houston: 17% of flights delayed, average delay 8 minutes
  11. Ft. Lauderdale/Hollywood: 17% of flights delayed, average delay 8 minutes
  12. Long Beach: 17% of flights delayed, average delay 9 minutes
  13. Charleston AFB/Int’l: 17% of flights delayed, average delay 7 minutes
  14. Philadelphia: 17% of flights delayed, average delay 9 minutes
  15. Manchester-Boston Regional: 16% of flights delayed, average delay 9 minutes
  16. Minneapolis: 17% of flights delayed, average delay 8 minutes
  17. John Glenn Columbus: 16% of flights delayed, average delay 10 minutes
  18. McGhee Tyson, TN: 16% of flights delayed, average delay 10 minutes
  19. Richmond Int’l – flights delayed: 16% of flights delayed, average delay 8 minutes
  20. Northwest Arkansas Regional: 16% of flights delayed, average delay 9 minutes

You can read the rest of the list at the source link below (though it’s in slideshow form, so be prepared for some clicking). If you’re planning to travel to or through one of these airports over the holidays, be sure to give yourself extra time to make it through.

Airports With the Most Delays on Thanksgiving | Wanderbat via Frugal Travel Guy

Photo by Philip Tellis.

You Can Now Text the Butterball Turkey Help Hotline

The Butterball Turkey Talk-Line has been guiding helpless cooks to better turkeys for over 30 years. Now, if you don’t feel like calling, you can get your turkey questions answered via SMS text message for the first time ever.

For the novice cook, whole roasted turkey is a bit of a challenge. That’s what the experts at Butterball’s hotline are for. They can tell you everything from when you should defrost your bird to how you should cook it if you’re short on time. They’ve seen it all and heard it all when it comes to turkey questions, but now they can read it all too. If you’re need of some free turkey advice, you can text them at 1-800-Butterball until end of Thanksgiving night. You can learn more at the link below.

Update: Whoops! Look like we’ve shared this news already. Still, it’s a good reminder for this week! If you need turkey advice, you know who to text.

Turkey Talk-Line | Butterball via The Kitchn

Photo by Ruocaled.

Make a Better Mint Julep by Rubbing the Glass With Mint Leaves First

Make a Better Mint Julep by Rubbing the Glass With Mint Leaves First

Today is Memorial Day, but it’s also Mint Julep Day. In honor of the refreshing summertime cocktail comprised of bourbon and mint, here’s an easy tip for making them even better. All you need to do is give your glass a minty rubdown.

When you go to take a sip of a cocktail, your sense of smell and taste are already working before your lips even hit the glass. In fact, aroma can have a huge effect on how good a cocktail tastes. That’s why a skilled bartender will twist a citrus peel over a mixed drink or hang a wedge on the side of the glass. To make a mint julep taste as good as possible, Keri Smith, the head bartender at Doc Crow’s Southern Smokehouse & Raw Bar in Louisville, Kentucky, suggests you do a similar thing with mint. Give your fresh mint leaves a smack, then rub the interior and exterior of the glass with them. Doing this will make the mint’s oils last longer, so every sip is filled with a strong minty aroma. Oh, and don’t forget to use perfectly soft crushed ice.

http://lifehacker.com/make-sonic-dri…

7 Tricks from Bartenders on How to Make a Better Mint Julep | Mental Floss

Photo by Brenda.

How to Become the Ultimate Grill Master

How to Become the Ultimate Grill Master

Memorial Day marks the start of the serious grilling season, and there’s no better weekend to bolster your grill-master game. Luckily, honing your outdoor culinary skills is a lot more simple than it seems, given the right tools, a little preparation, and a few tips on technique.

This post was originally published on May 23, 2008.

Get the Right Tools

How to Become the Ultimate Grill Master
  • Lump charcoal or briquettes?: This is one of those endless, both-sides-are-right-and-wrong debates (kind of like Mac vs. PC), but there is some fairly common ground. As The Virtual Weber Bullet puts it:
    The general consensus is that lump tends to burn hotter than briquettes, but not as long or as consistently. Some lack of consistency is to be expected, given that the content and piece size varies within an individual bag and between bags.

    Personally, I recommend briquettes for anyone just starting out with their grill, as lump can be finicky in lighting. Of course, you can save yourself a lot of effort and frustration by investing in a chimney starter, which you can also use for flash-cooking.

  • Choosing a gas grill: Ignore the BTUs and heat for the most part—unless you really need to cook a whole bird or roast this weekend, most grills have got your steaks and burgers covered. Consumer Reports’ blog recommends bringing a magnet with you to gauge the quality of steel used to contain the heat. If the magnet sticks, it’s likely a cheaper grade that will rust more easily. Feel free to give a test model a few shoves and shakes, as an unstable grill is a recipe for serious problems. The Wirecutter has some good recommendations to get you started.
  • Multi-use utensils: The three-tool grilling sets you see at big-box stores have all you’ll need for basic grill work, with long-handled versions of a spatula, tongs, and a carving-type poker. A long-handle brush would be your next purchase, and then a grilling basket and skewers when you start branching out. Make sure your tools feel heavy and firm in your hands, as clumsy handling creates the kind of BBQ stories you don’t want repeated.

For more grilling gear, our gadget-crazed brother site Gizmodo runs down 10 awesome grills you can buy for the ultimate Memorial Day barbecue.

http://gizmodo.com/392940/10-awes…

Get Ready

  • Clean that grill: If there’s black crust on the grill bars, you need to get it off to ensure no-stick cooking and easy food flipping. You can use a grill brush or an onion if it’s being particularly stubborn. The video above shows you how to do a deeper clean, and if you’ve neglected your grill for years, it may need a bit of repair, which you can do yourself.
  • Make your own sauce: Most of the pre-bottled sauces you see on grocery shelves are over-sweetened, and none match the taste of homemade. Making your own isn’t that difficult, either. Use one of BBQ Recipe Secret’s three sauce bases as a starting point, and build your own flavor ideas into them. It’ll give you something to talk about while you’re waiting for the ribs to finish. You can even give bottled sauce a boost with a few household ingredients, if you don’t want to start from scratch.

http://lifehacker.com/give-bottled-b…

http://lifehacker.com/5806754/deep-c…

Hone Your Technique

How to Become the Ultimate Grill Master
  • Use your grill’s “zones”: Not everything goes right over the fire. Different types of meat (and vegetables) will work best on different parts of the grill depending on how much heat they need. Check out this infographic to see where everything goes.
  • Use a cheat sheet: Experience is the best indicator for knowing the precise moment to yank your food off the rack, but Real Simple offers a super-helpful cheat sheet you can print and bring to this culinary test. Here’s a sample that covers the basics of red meat and sausages:

    How to Become the Ultimate Grill Master

    While you’re at it, don’t forget about the palm test for determining the doneness of a steak.

  • BBQ chicken: As my fellow editor Adam can attest, eHow’s technique for grilling whole or partial chicken results in some juicy bird. The basics: Oil the grill, cook the chicken uncovered slightly off the heat center, and, for Pete’s sake, don’t put your sauce on until the last few minutes.
  • Perfect burgers: Our commenters don’t necessarily agree on cooking great burgers, but they do have some common wisdom to share. Use meat that’s as close to room temperature as possible for even cooking. Don’t press them on the grill, unless you like your meat dry. And the best “secret” to great burgers is buying good meat, preferably ground by a butcher while you watch. And if you want them to cook evenly, a shallow indentation in the middle can help avoid the hockey puck look.
  • Seriously salt your steak: Got filet mignon dreams for the weekend, but only a Quarter-Pounder budget? Buy a cheap cut of “choice” meat, then salt, salt, salt the heck out of that thing—for only one hour before grilling, and then pat it dry. By doing so, your salt is breaking in your meat and loosening some of its protein strands, making it hold flavor better and cut like the steakhouse commercials of your dreams. You can also freeze it for 30 minutes for that perfect seared crust.
  • Hot dogs with maximum toppage: Spiral-cut your hot dogs to ensure it cooks perfectly straight, with more surface area for that nice grill flavor and plenty of room for all your favorite toppings. You might even consider marinating them for a boost of flavor that goes beyond the ho-hum hot dogs everyone’s used to.
  • Let it rest: You’ll be eager to slice open your tender steak or succulent chicken, but you’ll lose a lot of juicy flavor if you do so. As the food techies at Cook’s Illustrated point out, cutting into your food right off the grill releases a significant amount of juice, which would be re-absorbed for better succulence if you let it sit a few minutes.

http://lifehacker.com/5921653/spiral…

http://lifehacker.com/get-steakhouse…

http://lifehacker.com/the-best-way-t…

http://lifehacker.com/software/cooki…

http://lifehacker.com/software/cooki…

http://lifehacker.com/267250/determi…

http://lifehacker.com/5918212/where-…

Recover from a Rain-Out

How to Become the Ultimate Grill Master

All that planning, cleaning, and purchasing, and Mother Nature calls an audible on your perfect grill day? You’re not finished yet. As the New York Times’ food guru and cookbook author Mark Bittman points out, your oven broiler can sub in for your grill with a little prep-work, with results almost as satisfying. Brown your meat in the pan, roast or braise it slowly, then use the broiler to give it that grill-like finish. Check out his oven-based pork ribs or brisket recipes if you need convincing.

Document Your Success

How to Become the Ultimate Grill Master

When you’ve put all this effort into creating a great fire-cooked feast, you’ll want more than just compliments to remember it by. Break out your camera (or pass it off to a trusted friend) and try the following tips to take some great grilling shots:

  • Tell a story: A BBQ-friendly shooter named Nika notes that a lot of grilled food might look good to the human eye, but smoky crusts and perfect charring can look like unappealing dark nothingness without good framing. Try to capture moments of “drama,” such as when the meat’s being pulled, or focus on the tools used to make the meal to get shots you’ll remember.
  • Get in close: At the same time, Flickr user Another Pint Please…, also known as Mike and who shot the steak picture you saw at the top of this post, recommends being brave and getting up-close and personal with your heat source—while being safe with your lens, of course. You’ll have time to take wider-angle shots when the cooking’s done, but those sudden flare-ups and perfect glistening angles only happen once.

Happy Memorial Day, and enjoy the barbecue!

Photos by Mike, Rick, Robert S. Donovan, and Christopher Aloi.

The Real History of Cinco de Mayo

Cinco de Mayo is a small holiday in Mexico that has become a huge American tradition. But why do we celebrate Mexican culture on May the 5th? No, it definitely isn’t “Mexican Independence Day.”

It actually commemorates the Battle of Puebla in 1862, in which the Mexican Army successfully defended itself against the French. But activists in the 1950s publicized the day to educate Mexican Americans about their cultural heritage, and eventually it became an excuse to indulge in copious amounts of Mexican food and drink. You can probably thank beer corporations for that.

Top 10 Strategies for Making Your New Year’s Resolution Stick

Top 10 Strategies for Making Your New Year's Resolution Stick

2016 is here, and most of us are scrambling to make up a few New Year’s resolutions that, frankly, we’ll probably forget about in February. Here’s how to create a resolution that actually sticks so you can better yourself this year.

A version of this post was originally published on December 29, 2012.

10. Focus on One Resolution

Top 10 Strategies for Making Your New Year's Resolution Stick

One of the first mistakes people make is planning too many resolutions. The fewer things your brain has to deal with, the better, and you’ll be able to focus all your motivation on one resolution, increasing the chances you’ll succeed. Need ideas? Check out our top 10 easy-to-keep resolutions, or go for one of the five most popular resolutions and follow our guide to ensuring its success.

http://lifehacker.com/5871955/the-sc…

9. Get Someone to Hold You Accountable

Top 10 Strategies for Making Your New Year's Resolution Stick

Having an “accountability buddy” is an old, yet tried-and-true tip for sticking to your resolutions. Tell your goals to a few close family and friends who will be honest with you and keep you on the right track. Heck, if you’re having trouble thinking of a good resolution, those buddies can actually help you pick one, too (since they know you best, faults and all). Don’t go too overboard, though. Remember, sometimes sharing with too many people can hinder your accomplishments.

http://lifehacker.com/5871534/outsou…

8. Set Ultra-Specific Goals

Top 10 Strategies for Making Your New Year's Resolution Stick

New Year’s resolutions are often big and general, making them hard to attain. The more specific you can be, the easier it will be to reach that goal. “Lose weight” or “get in shape” is a bad resolution; “Lose 15 pounds by March” is a good one. Setting multiple specific goals throughout the year is good, too. That way, you always have something attainable to focus on that doesn’t seem far off.

7. Piggyback Your Resolution with Existing Habits

Top 10 Strategies for Making Your New Year's Resolution Stick

If your resolution involves building small habits—like, say, flossing every day or taking daily vitamins—you can “piggyback” these habits with other, already-established ones. Stick your dental floss in your shower and floss during your shower, or put your vitamin jar inside your kitchen cupboard so you always remember to take them when you eat breakfast. The easier you can form the habit, the more likely it is to stick.

http://lifehacker.com/5724234/how-to…

6. Give Yourself a Trial Run

Top 10 Strategies for Making Your New Year's Resolution Stick

Not every resolution is perfect out of the gate, so don’t hold yourself to a poorly-formed goal if it just won’t work. Give yourself a 30-day trial run to work out the kinks, where you can let yourself stumble a bit and tweak your goals to something better suited for success. Keep in mind that not all habits are formed in 21 days, as conventional wisdom says, so even after the trial run, give yourself time to sink into the habit before you start admitting defeat.

http://lifehacker.com/5863684/give-y…

5. Trick Your Mind

Top 10 Strategies for Making Your New Year's Resolution Stick

Resolutions are hard to keep without a sense of accomplishment. Having specific, gradual goals can help, but another trick is to play some mind games with yourself. The placebo effect can be pretty useful in keeping you motivated, even if you know you’re using it on yourself. Focus on anything that makes you feel like you’re succeeding. If you’re trying to lose weight, eating from smaller plates will make you “feel” fuller, even if you’re eating the same amount of food, for example. Do whatever you need to do to trick your mind and you’ll be well on your way to success.

http://lifehacker.com/5873548/why-pl…

4. Visualize the End Result

Top 10 Strategies for Making Your New Year's Resolution Stick

As writer Rod Ebrahimi says, “focus on the carrot, not the stick”. If you’re having trouble staying motivated, focus on what you’ll get from your end goal—whether that’s feeling better at a lower weight, being able to impress your friends with your new guitar skills, or just being able to breathe now that you’ve quit smoking. Staying positive seems like common sense, but it can be hard when you’re in the middle of a big plateau.

3. Closely Measure Your Progress

Top 10 Strategies for Making Your New Year's Resolution Stick

If you’ve created specific goals, then getting positive reinforcement should be easy. Every time your each one of those goals—even if it’s just a daily goal—mark it off on a checklist or calendar. You can even go a step further and use the “Don’t Break the Chain” method of goal-setting, which is great for daily goals like “write every day” or “exercise 5 times a week.” For other resolutions, try out one of our five favorite goal-tracking services to measure your progress.

http://lifehacker.com/5886128/how-se…

2. Remind Yourself of Your Goals Every Day

Top 10 Strategies for Making Your New Year's Resolution Stick

If you’re having trouble keeping your goals at the forefront of your mind, you can use one of any number of tricks to constantly remind yourself (besides tracking your progress). Set an alarm on your phone with a message of why you’re doing this, record yourself on a webcam every day, or use dry erase markers to write your goals on your bathroom mirror.

http://lifehacker.com/5945116/how-i-…

1. Start Right Now

Top 10 Strategies for Making Your New Year's Resolution Stick

Don’t wait! Whether you’re reading this at the end of December or in the middle of July, start right now—even with small changes to prepare you for the big push—and you’ll be one step closer to achieving your goals. There’s no reason your goals need to start on January 1st-even if that’s today-so call up those accountability buddies, jot down your milestones, and get started with that resolution right now.

http://lifehacker.com/5871244/make-s…

Title photo remixed from file404 (Shutterstock). Additional photos by Lululemon Athletica, Rob Ellis, John Kwan (Shutterstock), mattza, Davidd, and Ambernectar 13.

Top 10 Strategies for Making Your New Year’s Resolution Stick

Top 10 Strategies for Making Your New Year's Resolution Stick

2016 is here, and most of us are scrambling to make up a few New Year’s resolutions that, frankly, we’ll probably forget about in February. Here’s how to create a resolution that actually sticks so you can better yourself this year.

A version of this post was originally published on December 29, 2012.

10. Focus on One Resolution

Top 10 Strategies for Making Your New Year's Resolution Stick

One of the first mistakes people make is planning too many resolutions. The fewer things your brain has to deal with, the better, and you’ll be able to focus all your motivation on one resolution, increasing the chances you’ll succeed. Need ideas? Check out our top 10 easy-to-keep resolutions, or go for one of the five most popular resolutions and follow our guide to ensuring its success.

http://lifehacker.com/5871955/the-sc…

9. Get Someone to Hold You Accountable

Top 10 Strategies for Making Your New Year's Resolution Stick

Having an “accountability buddy” is an old, yet tried-and-true tip for sticking to your resolutions. Tell your goals to a few close family and friends who will be honest with you and keep you on the right track. Heck, if you’re having trouble thinking of a good resolution, those buddies can actually help you pick one, too (since they know you best, faults and all). Don’t go too overboard, though. Remember, sometimes sharing with too many people can hinder your accomplishments.

http://lifehacker.com/5871534/outsou…

8. Set Ultra-Specific Goals

Top 10 Strategies for Making Your New Year's Resolution Stick

New Year’s resolutions are often big and general, making them hard to attain. The more specific you can be, the easier it will be to reach that goal. “Lose weight” or “get in shape” is a bad resolution; “Lose 15 pounds by March” is a good one. Setting multiple specific goals throughout the year is good, too. That way, you always have something attainable to focus on that doesn’t seem far off.

7. Piggyback Your Resolution with Existing Habits

Top 10 Strategies for Making Your New Year's Resolution Stick

If your resolution involves building small habits—like, say, flossing every day or taking daily vitamins—you can “piggyback” these habits with other, already-established ones. Stick your dental floss in your shower and floss during your shower, or put your vitamin jar inside your kitchen cupboard so you always remember to take them when you eat breakfast. The easier you can form the habit, the more likely it is to stick.

http://lifehacker.com/5724234/how-to…

6. Give Yourself a Trial Run

Top 10 Strategies for Making Your New Year's Resolution Stick

Not every resolution is perfect out of the gate, so don’t hold yourself to a poorly-formed goal if it just won’t work. Give yourself a 30-day trial run to work out the kinks, where you can let yourself stumble a bit and tweak your goals to something better suited for success. Keep in mind that not all habits are formed in 21 days, as conventional wisdom says, so even after the trial run, give yourself time to sink into the habit before you start admitting defeat.

http://lifehacker.com/5863684/give-y…

5. Trick Your Mind

Top 10 Strategies for Making Your New Year's Resolution Stick

Resolutions are hard to keep without a sense of accomplishment. Having specific, gradual goals can help, but another trick is to play some mind games with yourself. The placebo effect can be pretty useful in keeping you motivated, even if you know you’re using it on yourself. Focus on anything that makes you feel like you’re succeeding. If you’re trying to lose weight, eating from smaller plates will make you “feel” fuller, even if you’re eating the same amount of food, for example. Do whatever you need to do to trick your mind and you’ll be well on your way to success.

http://lifehacker.com/5873548/why-pl…

4. Visualize the End Result

Top 10 Strategies for Making Your New Year's Resolution Stick

As writer Rod Ebrahimi says, “focus on the carrot, not the stick”. If you’re having trouble staying motivated, focus on what you’ll get from your end goal—whether that’s feeling better at a lower weight, being able to impress your friends with your new guitar skills, or just being able to breathe now that you’ve quit smoking. Staying positive seems like common sense, but it can be hard when you’re in the middle of a big plateau.

3. Closely Measure Your Progress

Top 10 Strategies for Making Your New Year's Resolution Stick

If you’ve created specific goals, then getting positive reinforcement should be easy. Every time your each one of those goals—even if it’s just a daily goal—mark it off on a checklist or calendar. You can even go a step further and use the “Don’t Break the Chain” method of goal-setting, which is great for daily goals like “write every day” or “exercise 5 times a week.” For other resolutions, try out one of our five favorite goal-tracking services to measure your progress.

http://lifehacker.com/5886128/how-se…

2. Remind Yourself of Your Goals Every Day

Top 10 Strategies for Making Your New Year's Resolution Stick

If you’re having trouble keeping your goals at the forefront of your mind, you can use one of any number of tricks to constantly remind yourself (besides tracking your progress). Set an alarm on your phone with a message of why you’re doing this, record yourself on a webcam every day, or use dry erase markers to write your goals on your bathroom mirror.

http://lifehacker.com/5945116/how-i-…

1. Start Right Now

Top 10 Strategies for Making Your New Year's Resolution Stick

Don’t wait! Whether you’re reading this at the end of December or in the middle of July, start right now—even with small changes to prepare you for the big push—and you’ll be one step closer to achieving your goals. There’s no reason your goals need to start on January 1st-even if that’s today-so call up those accountability buddies, jot down your milestones, and get started with that resolution right now.

http://lifehacker.com/5871244/make-s…

Title photo remixed from file404 (Shutterstock). Additional photos by Lululemon Athletica, Rob Ellis, John Kwan (Shutterstock), mattza, Davidd, and Ambernectar 13.

Top 10 Strategies for Making Your New Year’s Resolution Stick

Top 10 Strategies for Making Your New Year's Resolution Stick

2016 is here, and most of us are scrambling to make up a few New Year’s resolutions that, frankly, we’ll probably forget about in February. Here’s how to create a resolution that actually sticks so you can better yourself this year.

A version of this post was originally published on December 29, 2012.

10. Focus on One Resolution

Top 10 Strategies for Making Your New Year's Resolution Stick

One of the first mistakes people make is planning too many resolutions. The fewer things your brain has to deal with, the better, and you’ll be able to focus all your motivation on one resolution, increasing the chances you’ll succeed. Need ideas? Check out our top 10 easy-to-keep resolutions, or go for one of the five most popular resolutions and follow our guide to ensuring its success.

http://lifehacker.com/5871955/the-sc…

9. Get Someone to Hold You Accountable

Top 10 Strategies for Making Your New Year's Resolution Stick

Having an “accountability buddy” is an old, yet tried-and-true tip for sticking to your resolutions. Tell your goals to a few close family and friends who will be honest with you and keep you on the right track. Heck, if you’re having trouble thinking of a good resolution, those buddies can actually help you pick one, too (since they know you best, faults and all). Don’t go too overboard, though. Remember, sometimes sharing with too many people can hinder your accomplishments.

http://lifehacker.com/5871534/outsou…

8. Set Ultra-Specific Goals

Top 10 Strategies for Making Your New Year's Resolution Stick

New Year’s resolutions are often big and general, making them hard to attain. The more specific you can be, the easier it will be to reach that goal. “Lose weight” or “get in shape” is a bad resolution; “Lose 15 pounds by March” is a good one. Setting multiple specific goals throughout the year is good, too. That way, you always have something attainable to focus on that doesn’t seem far off.

7. Piggyback Your Resolution with Existing Habits

Top 10 Strategies for Making Your New Year's Resolution Stick

If your resolution involves building small habits—like, say, flossing every day or taking daily vitamins—you can “piggyback” these habits with other, already-established ones. Stick your dental floss in your shower and floss during your shower, or put your vitamin jar inside your kitchen cupboard so you always remember to take them when you eat breakfast. The easier you can form the habit, the more likely it is to stick.

http://lifehacker.com/5724234/how-to…

6. Give Yourself a Trial Run

Top 10 Strategies for Making Your New Year's Resolution Stick

Not every resolution is perfect out of the gate, so don’t hold yourself to a poorly-formed goal if it just won’t work. Give yourself a 30-day trial run to work out the kinks, where you can let yourself stumble a bit and tweak your goals to something better suited for success. Keep in mind that not all habits are formed in 21 days, as conventional wisdom says, so even after the trial run, give yourself time to sink into the habit before you start admitting defeat.

http://lifehacker.com/5863684/give-y…

5. Trick Your Mind

Top 10 Strategies for Making Your New Year's Resolution Stick

Resolutions are hard to keep without a sense of accomplishment. Having specific, gradual goals can help, but another trick is to play some mind games with yourself. The placebo effect can be pretty useful in keeping you motivated, even if you know you’re using it on yourself. Focus on anything that makes you feel like you’re succeeding. If you’re trying to lose weight, eating from smaller plates will make you “feel” fuller, even if you’re eating the same amount of food, for example. Do whatever you need to do to trick your mind and you’ll be well on your way to success.

http://lifehacker.com/5873548/why-pl…

4. Visualize the End Result

Top 10 Strategies for Making Your New Year's Resolution Stick

As writer Rod Ebrahimi says, “focus on the carrot, not the stick”. If you’re having trouble staying motivated, focus on what you’ll get from your end goal—whether that’s feeling better at a lower weight, being able to impress your friends with your new guitar skills, or just being able to breathe now that you’ve quit smoking. Staying positive seems like common sense, but it can be hard when you’re in the middle of a big plateau.

3. Closely Measure Your Progress

Top 10 Strategies for Making Your New Year's Resolution Stick

If you’ve created specific goals, then getting positive reinforcement should be easy. Every time your each one of those goals—even if it’s just a daily goal—mark it off on a checklist or calendar. You can even go a step further and use the “Don’t Break the Chain” method of goal-setting, which is great for daily goals like “write every day” or “exercise 5 times a week.” For other resolutions, try out one of our five favorite goal-tracking services to measure your progress.

http://lifehacker.com/5886128/how-se…

2. Remind Yourself of Your Goals Every Day

Top 10 Strategies for Making Your New Year's Resolution Stick

If you’re having trouble keeping your goals at the forefront of your mind, you can use one of any number of tricks to constantly remind yourself (besides tracking your progress). Set an alarm on your phone with a message of why you’re doing this, record yourself on a webcam every day, or use dry erase markers to write your goals on your bathroom mirror.

http://lifehacker.com/5945116/how-i-…

1. Start Right Now

Top 10 Strategies for Making Your New Year's Resolution Stick

Don’t wait! Whether you’re reading this at the end of December or in the middle of July, start right now—even with small changes to prepare you for the big push—and you’ll be one step closer to achieving your goals. There’s no reason your goals need to start on January 1st-even if that’s today-so call up those accountability buddies, jot down your milestones, and get started with that resolution right now.

http://lifehacker.com/5871244/make-s…

Title photo remixed from file404 (Shutterstock). Additional photos by Lululemon Athletica, Rob Ellis, John Kwan (Shutterstock), mattza, Davidd, and Ambernectar 13.