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Developing New Year's Resolutions: A How-to Guide

 

Each December millions of people create New Year's resolutions which, unfortunately, never survive past January. In each resolution, however, lies desire: a desire for whatever the resolution contains or implies. Because of this, each resolution should be reasonable and doable. Break free from the curse of forgetting resolutions by following these steps.  

Be Realistic

One of the biggest mistakes made in New Year's resolutions is that they are unrealistic. Nobody can lose 15 pounds each week or save $30,000 each year by not drinking coffee. Make sure that your resolution is something you can actually do or otherwise you're just setting yourself up for failure. When making the determination of whether your resolution is realistic, consider your schedule and finances. If either one is incompatible with your resolution, chances are pretty good that you won't be successful in your endeavor. Similarly, if you are unsure whether your resolution is reasonable, solicit the opinion of a friend, family member or even your physician. Input from another person can often help you mold your resolution into a more definite, realistic shape.

Write It Down

Reminders are a good thing, particularly for busy moms. Write down your resolution and keep it in a place where it's easily seen--and therefore easily remembered. Post-it notes are a simple way to put your resolution where you will see it the most, but you can also integrate it into your décor by typing it up in a pretty font and framing it.  

Take Baby Steps

Breaking your resolution into steps will help you complete it. Depending on your resolution, identify what you must and can do each day or week that will push you further towards its completion. For example, if you want to lose weight, make it a rule that you must walk at least three miles each week. How, when and where you complete those three miles is up to you and, fortunately, can be flexible to work with your schedule. Remember, you have a year to complete this resolution; there's really no rush.

Periodically Check Your Progress

Throughout the year, you should check your progress towards your goal. This will help you recognize whether or not you are on track and, if you are not, permit you to restructure your efforts. These checks should be done once a month at the very least, preferably at the month's beginning or end, and at the same time of each month. One month provides you with enough time to check your progress and determine if any changes have been successful.  

Get a Buddy

Many times having someone else on the ride with you can make it easier. If you have a friend or family member with the same resolution, consider making it a team effort. A buddy can keep you focused and on track to completing your goal and can also be a good sounding board when you encounter problems with the goal that you can't seem to resolve. Sometimes, a different viewpoint can see solutions that you might overlook.

Get to Work!

All this planning wasn't for fun; the biggest step in achieving any resolution is to start it. Follow your baby steps and take it slowly--and don't get impatient if you mess up.

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