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How to Set (and KEEP) New Year’s Resolutions
Every December 31st, the people of the world take a look back on the past 364 days and often come to the same realization: something needs to change. Our culture has a solution to this problem, and it comes in the form of New Year’s Resolutions. The next day, after a night of drinking and partying, comes the traditional Setting of the Resolutions. But a year later, how many of these resolutions have actually been pursued, let alone met? These failures in pursuing New Year’s Resolutions stem from a plethora of shortsighted decisions made by the set-ees. How can we set and keep our New Year’s Resolutions? All it takes are six simple steps.
1. Be Realistic
Look, its kind of ridiculous to assume you lose 200 pounds in a year if you “Really really try and believe it will come true!” By the same token, don’t underestimate yourself. Set realistic goals and be pleasantly surprised if you surpass them. It can sometimes be a good idea to have high goals, but beware: nothing can be more deterring than a lack of results.
2. Set Goals at Intervals
365 days is a long time and it gives you plenty of time to forget your yearly resolutions. So, rather than looking at the year as a whole, break it into segments. The calendar has conveniently already done this for you in the form of months, weeks, and days. Rather than saying “I’d like to lose 50 pounds by the end of the year,” try “I’ll lose 10 pounds by February.” By keeping goals in sight, you will be able to maintain your resolutions much more easily.
3. Be Specific
Many people fail to accomplish their resolutions because the resolutions themselves aren’t specific enough. Instead of resolving to “eat healthy,” resolve to cut your calories by thirty percent. Rather than trying to “exercise more,” try to run on the treadmill 5 times a week for 30 minutes. By specifying exactly what it is you hope to do, you will have a routine that will be easy to follow, rather than trying to follow a vague idea.
4. Get Others Involved
Having partners in your resolutions can be extremely beneficial. You will be less likely to forget your resolutions if you have a friend pursuing them with you. Even if you are pursuing completely unrelated resolutions, peer-encouragement can be the deciding factor in the completion of a resolution.
5. Do Your Research
Some resolutions are more complicated than others and may require a certain amount of research beforehand. If your resolution is to have stronger abs, then read books and buy DVDs on how to strengthen your abs, rather than just going ahead and doing 100 crunches a day and hoping it will work. If your resolution is to quit smoking, consult your doctor on what he or she thinks is the best way to do so. Never make any life style changes without first researching possible side effects and consulting your physician.
6. Start Immediately!
Start pursuing your resolutions on January 1st. The longer you procrastinate doing them, the harder they will be to maintain, and the greater the likelihood of you forgetting them will be.
Follow these steps and increase your success in following your New Year’s Resolutions, but above all, remember: Be Dedicated. I shall leave you with an old adage: All things worth doing are worth doing right.
Have a Happy and Healthy New Year.