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How to Keep New Year's Resolutions

Updated on January 17, 2010

“Cheers to a new year and another chance for us to get it right,” quipped Oprah Winfrey.

One statistic says that 92% of New Year’s resolutions will not be kept. For this reason many people don’t bother making them in the first place.

Resolutions have their place in life, be it quitting smoking or losing weight; you have to start somewhere. So whether you made you’ve made a New Year’s resolution, or are just ready for a new start at any time of the year; here are a few tips to keep you going.

Be Realistic

First of all, don’t over commit yourself. If you set an impossible standard right up front, you’re going to give up within a week. Ask friends and family who have already accomplished the goal you’re hoping to achieve how they went about it. Look in books or online for ideas on how to best reach your desired end.

Along with setting a realistic objective, make sure your steps for getting there are also realistic. If a couch potato has decided to start exercising every day, it may not be the best idea to decide they are immediately beginning hour-long circuit training routines every morning. A better plan may be to start with a fifteen minute walk on their lunch break each day.

Schedule It

Whether your goal is to start writing that book, learn a new language, or start exercising, it takes time to accomplish. Get out your calendar and begin concretely deciding where and when you’re going to make this happen. Depending on your particular objective, you may need to pencil in time every day or maybe it’s more like once a week. A few moments in the day that most people can squeeze in a new habit are: early morning- try waking up a half hour earlier, late evening- you may have time to stay up an extra 15-30 minutes, over your lunch hour, or try skipping a TV show every day for your new habit.

Whenever you choose to pencil in your resolution, remember- it only takes 21 days to start a new habit! Just think, if you can just keep up your new routine for three weeks, it will be a part of your life.

Get a Partner

Find someone else who has a similar goal to yours and work on it together, or hold each other accountable. You can meet every morning for a walk, e-mail each other once a week for an update on how you saved money to cut back on debt, or have a short phone chat at the end of each day to encourage each other on how you managed to not smoke that day.

If you don’t have an available accountability partner, consider joining an online group for support. You’ll find resources to encourage you in your resolution as well as chat rooms where you can discuss common challenges and solutions with others who are going through the same thing as you.

With a few simple guidelines, your resolution can go from being just a goal to your reality. What you are waiting for?


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