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Monday, December 31, 2012

10 Tips on How to Keep Your New Year's Resolutions

So, we've survived the "end of the world" that was supposed to happen on December 21, 2012. This means that we now have another year to look forward to! YAY! :)

I want to take this opportunity to welcome the new year. If 2012 did not go for you the way you would have liked, then this is a good moment to reflect on what went well and what you could have done better and how.

A moment of reflection of the past year is an opportunity for all of us to learn from past mistakes, celebrate past successes and reflect upon what worked and what didn't.

I'm happy to say that I was able to achieve 4/5 of my 2012 goals, which in my opinion is a pretty good percentage. Therefore, I want to share of the key steps that I took to achieve my 2012 new year's resolutions.

I hope that as you read, you will realize that you too can achieve your goals in 2013!

1. Don't make too many at once. The problem with picking too many resolutions is that you may find yourself overwhelmed and not know where to start. Try picking the top 3-5 that you want to stick to throughout the whole year. When you have 3-5, it makes it a lot easier for you to develop an action plan for yourself, as opposed to having 10 of them.

2. Make them specific. If your resolutions are too vague, like "I want to save money" or "I want to get in shape", then it's very hard to keep them. This is because a vague goal is not really a goal that you can shoot for because you are not 100% sure of where you truly want to go. When you don't have a clearly defined destination, how can you get there? It's like if you're driving somewhere you've never been before and all you have is the name of the city or street but not the entire address. Sure, you might get to your destination, or you might just get frustrated, turn around and go back .

So, if you want to save money, find out how much you want to save and how long it should take you as well as why you're saving. If you want to get in shape, be more specific like lose 5% body fat in 3 months or gain 10 lbs of muscle over the year.

3. Write them down. When you write down a goal, it's a lot easier for you to remember it and to clarify what it is you want. Also, when you write down a goal, you are able to clear up some space in your head so that you can start to take your goal to the completion stage.

4. Be accountable to others. A goal is always more easily reached when you have people around you who support you in it. So, tell a supportive friend or family member about your goal and what you're going to do to get there. Better yet, if you have a friend who has similar goals to yours because then you can motivate each other, discuss your successes and talk about areas for improvement.

5. Have an action plan. If your goal is fairly large and requires multiple steps, it's best to write out all the steps and not just the goal itself. When entrepreneurs start a business, for example, they create a business plan which is supposed to guide them in the right direction. An action plan that you will use to reach your goals will help guide you.

6. Document your progress.  It's always good to be able to measure how far along you are. Seeing progress is very motivating. For example, if your goal is to make it to the gym at least 3 times per week, then get a calendar and put a check mark on each day that you went to the gym.

7. Make them realistic.  If your goal is to save $1 million in one year and yet your income is only $30,000 per year, short of winning the lottery, such a goal is very unrealistic. Pick a goal can achieve or choose a resolution that you know you can keep, while at the same time ensure that you will challenge yourself in the achievement process.

8. Make them attainable.  Setting an attainable goal sets you up for success. After you succeed in achieving your initial goals, you will gain more confidence in yourself. Once you're confident, you will be able to set more challenging goals.

9. Evaluate last year. Recall what your goals/resolutions were at the beginning of 2012 (since we're entering 2013 now). Check off any goals that you achieved and resolutions that you've kept. Recall the process and the work that it took for you to get there. Find out what inspired you to keep going. Recall any challenges that you've faced and how you dealt with them.

You can reward yourself for the goals you've reached and learn from the challenges that you've faced. What was effective and could be applied to the next goal? What was not and thus should not be repeated?

10. Talk to people. Think of people you know (or friends of friends) who have succeeded in what they set out to do, especially if it's something that you want to accomplish as well. Talk to them, ask them questions about what they did and how they did it. Most successful people who have "been there, done that" are willing to spend a few minutes to talk to someone about their successes, failures, and challenges. This can help you with your new year's resolutions too.
The sprinter's stance. Clothing by: Public Myth


I hope that you found this article helpful. I would be thrilled if you shared it :)

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