Making and Keeping Your New Year’s Resolutions

New Year (IMG_1436) (HubSpot)We are almost at the time of the year when people make promises to themselves in an effort to enrich their lives and self-improve during the New Year. Whether you’re trying to lose weight, quit smoking or save some cash, there are some universal tips that will help you keep your New Year’s resolution.

  • Make it something you really want. Don’t make it a resolution that you “should” want or what other people tell you to want. It has to fit with your own values.
  • Limit your list to a number you can handle. It’s probably best to make two or three resolutions that you intend to keep. That way, you are focusing your efforts on the goals you truly want.
  • Be specific. To be effective, resolutions and goals need to be very specific. Instead of saying or thinking, “I need to exercise more”, exchange it with, “I’m working out at the gym on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 5:30 p.m.”
  • Resolutions ListMake a plan. Rather than stating one daunting goal, create a series of smaller steps to reach it. Have an action plan and figure out exactly what you want to do. For example, if you want to exercise regularly but love spending time with your friends, getting the group together to walk regularly could give you a short-term payoff and help you to meet the long term goal.
  • Automate. Automating financial goals can maximize your odds for success without you having to do anything. If your goal is to save $3,000 this year, calculate the amount out of each check, then arrange to have it automatically deposited into your savings account each time you get paid.
  • Be prepared to change some habits. One reason that resolutions fail is people don’t change the habits that sabotage them. One approach is to realize that all you ever have is the present moment, so ask what you can do now that will get you closer to your goal. It could mean trade-offs such as sacrificing an hour of couch time for your new goals. That’s how you get resolutions implemented.
  • Goals (7K0A0223) (HubSpot)Write down the goal and visualize it regularly. Writing and visualizing are effective tools for fulfilling a goal because they fix it firmly in the subconscious. If you write down your goals, put them in a prominent place where you will view them regularly, such as on the fridge or on own your desk.
  • To tell or not to tell? Having someone hold you accountable can be a powerful tool. Skip the naysayers, but if you have one or two people in your life who will act as cheerleaders or coaches, share the goal with them.
  • Forgive yourself. If you fall off the wagon, jump back on. Many people fall into the trap of believing that if they stumble, they should give up. The truth is you don’t have to wait for next year or for some magic moment. Instead, realize that slipping is part of the process; then get back to your goals.
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