Virtually everyone has made a New Year's resolution and then quickly broken it.
While your intentions may be good, reality makes it hard to keep those promises. This year, use these tips to help you achieve your goals.
Be Realistic: Don't make too many resolutions or make
your goals unattainable. It might be better to just have
one resolution that is within reach. For example, if you
want to pay off your debt in the new year, you might resolve to eat out one less time per
week and put the difference towards your debt.
Plan Ahead: Spend some time ahead of New Year's Day thinking about your goals. With
some forethought, you can come up with a good plan. Include in your planning a way to
make yourself accountable and think about how you are going to get support.
Get a Buddy: Keeping your resolution a secret is a sure-fire way to slip up. Tell a friend or
family member what you are hoping to accomplish. Even better, find someone who has the
same goal as you. For example, if you are trying to lose weight, it is more productive to
have someone who will exercise with you on a regular basis. This accountability can be the
extra motivation you need to succeed.
Reward Yourself: Set some goalposts that you can reach along your resolution journey. Once
you've accomplished a smaller goal, give yourself a reward. That doesn't mean that you
should get an ice cream sundae once you've lost your first five pounds. Instead, get a new
outfit or see a movie.
Track Your Progress: A journal or chart can be a good way to watch your progress. Even
something as simple as a notation on a calendar each day can be a good motivator. If you
are trying to pay off debt, keep track of the amount as it goes down. A person trying to quit
smoking can count the days on a calendar.
Hang in There: Behavioral scientists say that it takes about 21 days to form a new habit. It
can take up to six months for it to become a part of your personality and feel secondnature. Give yourself some time to get used to your new way of thinking.