Tips for Keeping Your New Year’s Resolutions This Year

1. Start small and pick only one resolution

Instead of making a list of all the things you hope to change about yourself in 2012, start small and make one straightforward, simple resolution.

2. Make a specific resolution

It is a lot more difficult to stick to a vague resolution than it is to be consistent with a very specific resolution. If you want to lose weight, for example, set a specific goal about how much weight you hope to lose and by when. If you hope to lose 20 pounds in 2012, set a goal of 2 pounds each month.

3. Make a plan for how to achieve your goals

If you have one specific resolution, you will be able to achieve it so long as you make a plan. Outline a clear plan for how to get to your goal and you will be able to accomplish it.

4. Don’t wait to start on New Year’s Eve

Plan before New Year’s! If you hope to start exercising more, get into the rhythm now. If you hope to sleep more, start now. By starting just before New Year’s, it will be a slower transition when the day comes around.

5. Avoid repeating past failures by setting new habits

New Year’s resolutions most often fall apart because people fall back on old habits and cannot stick to their new choices. Avoid repeating past failures by setting new habits and sticking to them. Of course, this is easier said than done, but by taking your new resolutions slowly, you can achieve your resolution rather than jumping into it and expecting too much.

6. Positive reinforcement

Remember that change takes time! The only way you will achieve your resolution is through positive reinforcement. If you slip up, don’t give up. If you can stick to your resolution for at least thirty days, you should be able to reset your habits for 2012.

7. Make your resolution public

Sometimes peer pressure and public shame can help you in moments of weakness. By telling friends and family members your New Year’s resolution, they may encourage you to stick with it and tease you gently if you fall behind. By making your resolution public, you will be more likely to keep it to the end of the year.

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