How to Keep a New Year’s Resolution

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Extended Summary: At the start of each new year, it’s customary for a person to make one or more resolutions. Many of the resolutions involve weight loss, financial stability and success, healthier diets, and a number of other life-changing measures that are designed to improve the quality of that person’s life. While this is all very common, it’s not so common for a person to succeed in accomplishing all, or even one, of the things they promised to achieve. This of course is a bad thing because it means a person is failing to take steps that would likely improve his or her life, and maybe the lives of others. People fail at carrying out their resolutions for a variety of reasons, and this How To will identify those reasons as well as provide guidance as to how one should plan and carry out his or her resolutions.

  1. Approximately a week before the new year begins, sit down and compile a list of everything that you would like to improve in your life. Don’t concern yourself with any sort of organization or categorization. It’s also not necessary to finish the list in all one sitting. Spend the next couple of days identifying things that frustrate, depress, or bore you and include them on the list.
  2. List improvements on a small scale as opposed to a large scale. For example, if you would like to lose weight in the new year, don’t put down something like “lose fifty pounds”. Instead, break down the total amount of weight you want to lose by the month. Setting smaller goals can make it easier to accomplish things. It might take longer, but it’s a more practical approach that typically yields better results. The improvements don’t have to be made by the end of the new year and that’s really not even what matters. What’s important is you’re working towards them and that you don’t give up along the way.
  3. Once you’ve completed your list, review it. Highlight or mark in some way the improvement that is most important to you. Ask yourself what would be the one thing you’d love to accomplish next year, if you could accomplish just one thing. Once you make your choice, select three to five other improvements that are less important to you, but improvements that you would like to make nonetheless. Highlight or mark in some way but with a different color or symbol so that they don’t blend in with the thing that you want to accomplish the most in the new year.
  4. Now that you’ve made some selections, it’s time to think about as many ways as possible that you could go about accomplishing them. The more ways you have to go about accomplishing something, the better position you’ll be in should one method not work out well. By giving yourself several different plans of attacking the something you don’t like in your life, the better the chance you’ll have at succeeding. Be sure to write your ideas down.
  5. The next thing you need to think about is what will it mean for you and your life should you accomplish one or more goals on your list. How will your life improve, how will you feel, and what will you be able to accomplish next now that one or more goals have been met. It’s important to think about as many opportunities as possible that may emerge as a result of accomplishing your goals as this will help to energize and motivate you, as well as serve as a spirit booster if you experience difficulties or setbacks along the way. Just refer to the list when you’re feeling down and it may help you to feel better by reading what it will mean to have a new job, a new hobby, a better relationship with someone, or to have lost weight.
  6. Once you’re done with your list and your solutions, talk with as many family members and friends as you can and see if any of them would be interested in doing something similar. The more you find, the better. The idea is to help one another stay motivated and not forget or give up on the resolutions. As the new year progresses, people tend to get busy or abandon their resolutions when they encounter difficulties. Work together to make sure this doesn’t happen. Help someone out if they encounter problems and provide meaningful encouragement.
  7. As you work towards your goals, keep a journal. Each time something happens, positive or negative, write about it. If you’re making progress, write about how good you feel that you’re one step closer to improving your life. If you experience a setback, write about how tomorrow is another day and another chance to fight for something that you want to accomplish. A journal can help keep your resolve strong and excite you because you can look back at previous entries, track your progress, and see just how far you’ve come. This can provide encouragement, as well as confidence, as you work to make one or all of your resolutions a reality.
  8. Reward yourself with something once you’ve made it halfway to accomplishing something. Go some place that you like, have something that you like to eat or drink, buy yourself something nice, things like that. Reward yourself again upon reaching your goal. Just don’t let the rewards get out of hand.
  9. Keep your list of improvements and solutions someplace safe year round. Once you succeed at something and you’re happy with the results, tackle something else on your list. You don’t have to wait until the next year. As long as you are able to, why wait at all?

Keep in Mind…

  • Positive thinking is an absolute must. You need to have faith in yourself as well as a sincere desire to bring about positive change in your life.
  • Pace yourself. If you feel you can handle only one goal at a time, that’s perfectly fine. Tackle the small or large goals first, it doesn’t matter. Taking on too much at one time can lead to frustration and abandonment of one or all of your goals.

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