Tuesday, December 31, 2013

8 Tips For New Year's Resolutions

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I have never been one to make New Year's Resolutions. I'm not sure why.
Maybe the practical side of me realized that I would be putting too much pressure on myself to succeed when I wasn't ready to move forward. Perhaps it was because most of the people I knew were making them, and I purposely go against the tide. Or, maybe I tend to find ways to improve myself consistently throughout the year, rather than only once at the beginning.

We all know what the statistics say: Last year, after only six days into the new year, 11 percent of adults had already given up on their resolutions; 22 percent had cheated at least once.

One poll found that just 28 percent who make resolutions succeeded in keeping them, while a whopping 46 percent never get started.

What does this tell us? Perhaps one of two things: Either we are a people who can't keep commitments, or we don't know how to keep commitments.

More often than not, people make commitments to do things without crafting a plan, and if they do have a plan, they aren't successful with implementing it. If that is the case, then the solution may not be too difficult.

Here are a few tips that my help you keep your New Year's Resolutions:
  • Think of your resolution as a lifestyle change, rather than a specific area to focus on.
  • Keep your list short: A long list of resolutions can be overwhelming. You can always work on other areas of your life throughout the year after you've mastered your list.
  • Instead of stating a generality (I'm going to lose weight this year), give a specific, measurable, and achievable goal: I'm going to lose 15 pounds by June 1st.
  • Set regular intervals to gauge your progress: Weekly weigh-in.
  • Elect someone to hold you accountable: Rather than someone who is seeking to achieve the same goals (it's easy for both of you to "mutually cheat"), choose someone with no stake in the outcome.
  • Challenge yourself, rather than chastise yourself.
  • Reward yourself with successes, but not with reverting back to what moved you to make a resolution in the first place. (I don't get it when people do this, but I am OCD: Does a smoker have a cigarette after going 30 days smoke-free?)
  • Record (journal or electronic) not only your progress, but also your feelings, thoughts, struggles, and emotions during this time.
I am no expert on New Year's Resolutions, but I do know a thing or two about changing a lifestyle. Go ahead: Give it a shot, make the commitment. You can do it!

Question: What have been helpful practices that made you successful in keeping your New Year's ResolutionsShare your thoughts below in 'comments'.

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