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Tips For Keeping Your New Year’s Resolutions

How To Keep New Year's ResolutionsHow many times has March rolled around and, once again, you’re mad at yourself. You weigh exactly what you did on December 31st, or worse, you’ve GAINED weight. You are no more organized than you were the year before.  Instead of the granola bar you resolved to eat as your afternoon snack, you’re back to munching on M & M’s and Fritos. Worst of all, the goals you set for yourself as the ball dropped were the same ones you’ve been making for years. Why does it seem that you always fall short of your own expectations?

1. You Didn’t Really Mean It

New Year’s is a jubilant time. It comes on the tail end of Christmas and Thanksgiving which emphasize gratitude, love, peace and the important things in life. By the time the party ends, people are so full of hope-or so depressed- that they make big promises about how they are going to change their lives and/or make the world a better place.

Once things get back to normal, you realize that maybe this isn’t the year to quit your job and go abroad for missionary work.  Or perhaps it’s a tad soon to get married to the guy (or girl) you’ve been dating for 3 months. If you find yourself year-after-year making these types of ‘caught up in the moment’ resolutions that, by January 3, you have chalked up to being ‘too unrealistic’, try this:

Tell yourself that you’re not even going to get serious about making resolutions until January 2. There’s no rule that says that resolutions MUST start on January 1. You can be thinking about them and mulling them over in your mind but as far as writing them down as your “Official” resolutions, just wait until January 2. By then, you should have come back down to earth from the rush of the holidays and excitement of New Year’s Eve parties.

2. You Overreach Even Realistic Resolutions

The holiday high made you believe that organizing ten years worth of clutter in one month was possible. Then, you take one look at your attic or basement and say “Forget it.” Asking too much of yourself guarantees that you will never achieve your goals.

Perhaps your goal is practical but you try to tackle it all at once. Why not set several “bite-size” goals instead of one big one? No one will fault you if your resolution takes all year. That’s the whole idea, anyway. Right? I personally think that 3 or 4 “mini” victories are just as rewarding as 1 “big” one especially if reaching straight for that 1 “big” results in it never being reached.

3. You Forget

Nobody talks about New Year’s Resolutions in June. By then, you’ve likely forgotten all about those promises that you were so excited about just a few months before. Keep this from happening by finding ways to remind yourself year round.  Buy some festive, inexpensive New Year’s stickers and stick one on every month of your calendar.  Stick one on your bathroom or dresser mirror or the ‘wrist rest’ of your keyboard.  Instruct a friend or family member to give  you a friendly reminder periodically throughout the year (people seem to be better at remembering others’ goals than their own 🙂 ).  Schedule a ‘reminder’ to pop up on your computer once per month.  Bottom line, your resolutions won’t get fulfilled if you forget about them.

Everyone has problems with their goal-setting skills. Everyone fails to reach the standards they set for themselves from time to time. Give yourself the gift of being better than you were before- learn to make promises you can keep. And if, after following these suggestions, you still end up breaking a resolution, just pat yourself on the back for making it as far as you did and pick up right where you left off.

Any other suggestions for sticking to New Year’s resolutions? Please leave a comment and share them with us 🙂

Lynn

This article is intended to convey general educational information and should not be relied upon as a substitute for professional healthcare advice.

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