New Year Resolutions 2010

The tradition of New Year Resolutions has been around since 153 B.C., according to history.  Janus, a mythical King in Rome, was a symbol for resolutions because he had two faces, one that could look back on past events and one that could look forward to see the future.  Romans name the month January after King Janus because they celebrated New Years day on January 1st.  On the first, they would picture Janus looking back at the previous year, and then forward at the coming year. 

 

Several top New Year Resolutions that people make for themselves have to do with health.  They can range from eating more healthy, working out more, to even to just start working out, period, or to quit smoking or to quit drinking.  Many New Year Resolutions fade out and become forgotten after March or April, when the stress of life gets the better of them, or when they simply loose sight of their original goals.  It is estimated than less than one quarter of those who set New Year Resolutions will actually follow through with and reach their targeted goals. 

One of the best ways I find helpful to make a goal more real, is to tell other people what your goal is.  If you simply tell yourself what your goal is, you are not being held accountable by anyone but yourself, and no one else knows what you are planning to do.  However, if you tell your friends, your family or your co-workers about your goal, you will have other people asking you how you are doing, thus helping keep you accountable.  Maybe you had a rough week, and you slacked off and didn’t go to the gym, and come Monday morning a co-worker asks how you are doing with your goal of working out more.  This simple and easy task will help keep you focused and committed to your goal. 

 

Of course simply telling others of your goal will not ensure success, but it will help keep you motivated.  Another tip to help keep you motivated, and therefore more successful, is to set your overall goal, but then to set yourself smaller, more attainable, goals to help you along the way.  If your goal is to lose 40 pounds in 2010, and you start with this big number, 40, and you even get it down to 20 pounds left, you still may feel like you have a ways to go.  Instead, set smaller goals.  It is your goal to lose 5 pounds every month and a half, roughly.  Mark on your calendar, every 6 weeks, 5 pound loss goal, and measure your success this way.  Being able to reach these smaller and more measurable and attainable goals will help to keep you motivated and committed throughout the year.  Otherwise, you could have a bad month, and figure you will make up that time later, but then later comes around and that time isn’t very convenient either.  The goal is to stay committed the entire year, never to loose sight of your goals.  This tip will help you do so. 

 

Track your progress!  This kind of goes in hand with the last tip.  Write down your mini goals, and track your progress in a journal, or on the calendar.  If your goal was to work out more, track your workouts, and what you are doing, and push yourself to beat your own records and set new goals for how many push ups you can do, or how quickly you can complete a mile on the treadmill.  If your goal is to eat healthier, track your food in a daily food journal to help remind yourself of what you have been putting into your body.  If you goal is to quit smoking or quit drinking, keep a journal of how you are feeling, record thoughts of inspiration and ways that you are keeping yourself motivated.  This will help you on days that seem to be harder than others, because it will give you something to look back on, and remember why you are doing this, why it is important, and how you kept yourself motivated before. 

 

Another great way to help yourself stay motivated is to give yourself rewards as you reach these small goals.  Do not offer yourself a reward that will sabotage your goal though.  So if your goal is to loose weight, don’t give yourself the reward of a whole cake, rather have a cupcake.  Instead of rewarding yourself with a day off from the gym, reward yourself with a walk in the part with your family or your pet instead of a hardcore work out.  Or, if you are motivated by other factors, reward yourself with a purchase – perhaps a new pair of shoes you have been wanting or a new pair of pants to fit your slimmer waist.  Also, don’t over-reward throughout the year; leave your biggest most fulfilling reward for the end, so when you reach your goal, success is that much sweeter. 


Remember that old habits are hard to change and realize that you will probably revert back to old habits occasionally.  However, rather than seeing your temporary set-back as a failure remember that you are only human, and that small steps are the only way to go.  When you fall back into old habits, use that time as a chance to refocus, regroup and rededicate yourself to your goal.  Remind yourself that it is okay to make these mistakes and focus your energy on getting back on track. 

 

Above all else, make goals that will help improve your life, and focus on changing one thing at a time.  Do not try to completely change yourself in one year, don’t set yourself up for failure.  Pick a goal that is not only attainable, but one that will help you pave the way for future changes that you may want to make.  Pick a resolution that is important to you personally, not one that others feel you should set.  If you’re not ready to make a healthier eating choice that’s okay, just start with working out.  You will learn what fuels your body for your work outs and you will notice a different in your energy level based on what you have eaten on a given day.  This will pave the way to being ready for healthier eating and it will help you become a healthier individual along the way. 


Just remember to take small steps, reward yourself along the way, stay focused and enlist the help of others! 

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