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5 Ways to Keep Your New Year’s Resolutions

It’s that time of year again. Time to lose weight, exercise, change jobs, or find a relationship. Here are five ways to stay on track with your goals once the New Year "feeling" starts wearing off.
Cork Board with Yellow Post-Its Lists New Year's Resolutions
Photo by: iStock
 
It’s that time of year again. Time to lose weight, exercise, change jobs, or find a relationship. Once the clock strikes midnight, it’s out with the old and in with the new. While there can be a bit of magical thinking that goes along with those New Year’s resolutions, here are five ways to stay on track with your goals once the New Year “feeling” starts wearing off.

1. Private Q&A
First, give yourself some Q&A time. Look at your life. Is there anything you would change or improve? All answers start with questions, so be prepared to create your list. Ask who, what and how: Who do I want to become? What can I improve? How can I change? Give yourself plenty of time — anywhere from a few hours to several days.

2. Devil’s In the Details
Now that you have your list, it’s time to take things down to the nitty-gritty and get specific with your resolutions. Be clear about how you will accomplish them. For example, “I will lose 10 pounds by June 1 by exercising one hour three days a week.” Create categories for your goals, such as Financial, Career, Relationships and Fitness. Get everything in writing. This is the roadmap to achieving your New Year’s resolutions.

3. Gaze Into the Future
With your New Year’s roadmap in hand, it’s time to create some emotional attachment to your goals. This is where things get fun, because it is all about your imagination. Visualize what it feels like to accomplish your goals. See yourself on a date with your new significant other; commuting to your new job; weighing in on the scale 10 pounds lighter. How do you feel? What do you see and hear? The more senses you engage, the better. This is your future self — get excited!

4. Eating Elephants
How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. Goals are a lot easier to manage when they’re broken into bite-size pieces. Turn your resolutions into a process, rather than an "all or nothing" ultimatum. Track your progress and create small rewards for yourself along the way. Should you find yourself off course, adapt and adjust. Never give up.

5. The Fulcrum Effect
The ancient Greek physicist, Archimedes, once said, "Give me a place to stand, and I shall move the Earth with it." A famous pop group once sang about getting by with a little help from their friends. Sometimes all you need is a bit of leverage and a boost of encouragement from the ones closest to you. Find your support network and the people who can help you be accountable. With their encouragement, you’re sure to move any mountain standing between you and your resolutions!
 

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