December 31, 2012

How to stick to your New Year's Resolutions

I have a feeling that more people break their New Year's resolutions than actually keep them. A lot of people break their resolutions on the first day of the New Year. If you are anything like me, you are probably thinking I have done that before. But, with a few tips and tricks, you can be one of the few who follow through with their commitment to change their lives for the better this year.

First, be realistic. You are just setting yourself up for failure if you make the goal to lose 50 pounds by April. Choose goals that you can actually achieve and ones that won't discourage you so much that you quit outright. Instead of telling yourself that you will cut out all sugar starting Jan 1st, say that you want to reduce your daily intake by half in time for Easter. If you it your mark you will feel so much better about yourself and that will give you more confidence to keep up the good the good work throughout the new year.

Second, be positive. Keeping a New Year's resolution will always be easier to accomplish if the resolution is something positive. Rather than saying you'll cut out all fast food, make it a goal to improve your diet. Don't say that you'll lose weight, but that you'll exercise more. 

Third, get support. You will have more success when you enlist the help of others, whether it's a spouse, sibling, friend or coworker. Set the goal together, and check in with each other often. Never criticize or belittle any failures the other has. Instead, motivate each other and provide encouragement.

Fourth, allow for failure. There will be times when you falter and blow it. Whether you skip a whole week at the gym or just haven't make progress on cleaning out the garage, there are things in life that get in the way. Don't let failure derail you; instead just accept the error, try to prevent it from happening again and get back on track. The worst thing you can do is give up.

Last but not least, reward yourself. As you make progress toward your goal, determine any rewards and incentives. If your goal was to reduce time watching television, reward yourself after two successful months by splurging on a few good books. Or, celebrate those recently lost pounds with a shopping spree.

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