How To Keep Your New Years Resolutions

1. Be very spe­cific about your res­o­lu­tion. Don’t say: “I want to lose weight.” Do say: “I want to lose 5 pounds a month so that I look hot in my new swim­suit on the fourth of July.” Make real­is­tic, mea­sur­able goals and write them down.

2. Limit the num­ber of res­o­lu­tions you make. It’s bet­ter to do one thing well than sev­eral things poorly (or not at all).

3. Post your list in a vis­i­ble place to serve as a reminder and encour­age­ment to your­self. It will also allow other peo­ple to see your res­o­lu­tions and pro­vide sup­port. If you want to keep your res­o­lu­tions pri­vate, record them in a jour­nal.

4. Enlist the sup­port of your friends and fam­ily. If you’re lucky, they’ll have sim­i­lar goals and you can work on your res­o­lu­tions together. Encour­age peo­ple to be help­ful and sup­port­ive.

5. Take action imme­di­ately. Make impor­tant appoint­ments with a doc­tor, dietit­ian or coun­selor. Sign up for a gym mem­ber­ship or buy any equip­ment you need.

6. Prac­tice new behav­iors that encour­age suc­cess. If you want to stop smok­ing, don’t hang out in smoke-filled bars or casi­nos. If you want to lose weight, don’t bring desserts, junk food, candy or ice cream into the house. Limit your expo­sure to peo­ple who are likely to encour­age resolution-breaking. There’s a rea­son parolees aren’t allowed to hang out with known criminals–they’re a bad influ­ence. Sur­round your­self with good ones.

7. Set incre­men­tal goals and reward your­self for par­tial suc­cesses. If you’re work­ing on sav­ing more of your income, for exam­ple, reward your­self with a small splurge at each sig­nif­i­cant step. Each time you squir­rel away another $1,000, take your­self to a favorite restau­rant or get a mas­sage.

8. Sub­sti­tute a good habit for the bad one you want to break. If your goal is to eat less junk food, find a healthy food you love. If you want to spend more time with your fam­ily, estab­lish a spe­cial time dur­ing the week when every­one is together.


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