Thursday, January 10, 2008

How To Stick With Your New Year's Resolution: A Better You In 2008

By Charlotte Buelow

New Years has come and gone, and already resolutions are being broken. However, let's not have the defeatist attitude that all New Year's resolutions are not followed through, but instead take our own resolutions seriously and put some determination behind them.

Think of your resolution this year - is it the same as last? For many, it is. New Year's resolutions tend to be the same year to year, with losing weight being one of the tops. Paying off debt, quitting smoking or going back to school to earn a degree are other popular options. Recently, many have committed to "live greener" in the New Year or volunteer more. Others look to find a mate, organize their homes or find a new, more fulfilling job. No matter what the resolution you have this year, try to make it the last year it's on your list.

Currently, fewer than 10% of people who make New Year's resolutions follow through and achieve their goals. One of the major problems with fulfilling New Year's resolutions is the amount of resolutions each person makes. Although you may want to get a new job, organize your house, live greener and lose weight this year, try to stick to one resolution and stay with it - you can always tackle the other resolutions in years to come. Keeping the focus on one resolution makes the goal seem more attainable, thus making you more likely to try to reach it. Also, make sure your goal is something realistic. Don't try to lose 50 pounds when 15 are more realistic for you.

Start out by visualizing yourself reaching your goal. See yourself walking by cigarettes in the store, or putting on that tight red dress you wore in college - by seeing yourself achieving your goals you'll become energized to achieve them. Don't just stop by visualizing your goal achieved once, but do this constantly through the process of reaching your goal to keep motivated.

Writing down your resolution is another way to keep you on track - but don't write it down just anywhere. Write your resolution on a sticky note and keep it somewhere you will see it frequently to remind you to stay on track. Another great way to keep your promise to yourself is to give it real commitment. Make this something important to you. You may even want to write some sort of commitment contract for yourself or perform another ritual to show the level of commitment you have to this resolution.

Telling others about your resolution will also help you to stay committed. By letting your friends and family know about your commitment, they can help keep you motivated. Although it may become annoy at times to hear your mother constantly asking: "Have you found that dream job yet?" such reminders will keep you on track to success.

You can even take it up a set and make a commitment with a close friend or loved one to reach your goals together. Try meeting weekly or bi-weekly to check up on your commitment, discussing your struggles and your successes.

A great way to stay on your task is to make a plan, leaving yourself smaller goals to reach along the way. You don't have to set dates to achieve these goals, but just by having these smaller achievements under your belt you'll be motivated. You can even get yourself into each smaller goal by watching movies or reading books and articles about your goal. Seeing others succeed will give you confidence that your resolution is possible.

Even with keeping these few tips in mind, it's still normal to slip up and not follow your plan every once in a while. Don't beat yourself up over these occasional missteps, just brush yourself off and get right back in the game. Try to stick to your plan for about 21 days as many experts say this will make it become a habit to you. If you keep on your habit for 6 months, the same experts say it will become part of your personality, making it second nature to you.

If you happen to fall completely off the horse in your resolution quest, just start over again, no matter what time of year. Who says you can only make resolutions on New Year's Day? Why not make a St. Patrick's Day resolution or a Valentine's Day resolution? Even a 15th of May resolution can be made, as long as you stick to it and keep yourself motivated till you reach your goal.

Article Source:

Charlotte Buelow is a contributing writer for Access My Library. Best known for its accurate and authoritative reference content as well as its full-text magazine and newspaper articles, AML maintains over 600 databases that are published online, in print, as eBooks and in microform. Visit Access My Library.

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