Make and Keep New Year's Resolutions

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Like most people you've probably made resolutions in the past that went unfulfilled. Don't be so hard on your self. Here are some tips to make realistic New Year's resolutions for your lifestyle and great tips on keeping them up throughout the new year.
Find a place where you can sit and reflect. Have a pen and paper available.
Think about changes and improvements you'd like to make. These can be about anything. Start a list and jot down some notes. Ask yourself the following questions to get you started and then add questions of your own:
What can I do to improve my health?
o Drink more water?
o Quit smoking?
o avoid unhealthy food? Avoid all fast food? Fried foods? Red meat?
o Eat fish twice a week? How about more fiber, beans, whole grains?
o Take vitamins each day?
o Go to the gym? How often? Maybe start off going once a week but increase by one day each month for the next few months.
What can I do to be a better parent?
o Can you attend a sporting event or other activity each week?
o Can you proofread papers or help with homework?
o Take you kids on an educational trip over the summer? Take a weekend and see a historical location or museum? You don't have to travel far and it could just be a day trip.
What can I do to be a better friend?
o Make a list of everyone's birthday and address to send cards?
o Contact or visit a friend you haven't seen in years?
o Are there "friends" you need to get rid of? Are they unhealthy or negative?
What can I do to be more successful at work?
o Can you keep your files and desk more organized?
o Get up 20 minutes earlier to get to work on time?
What can I do to be happier at work?
o Learn to say no to the procrastinators?
o Don't skip lunch no matter how busy you are?
o Take your vacation days instead of putting the company first?
o Get some exercise or networking in during lunchtime.

What are you doing to improve the world? Try to be a little more green, volunteer or just recycle a little more.
What are you doing to improve the world? Try to be a little more green, volunteer or just recycle a little more.
What can I do to improve the world?
o Change the light bulbs in the house to the energy efficient bulbs?
o Choose a hybrid or high-mileage car?
o Get the best gas mileage you can out of the car you have?
o Reduce waste?
o Are you recycling as much as you can?
Look over this list and see what items are most important to you.
Don't just address the big battles. Think of the smaller habits that turn into big problems when left un-addressed.
Try to be realistic and adjust any goals that may be too hard to tackle. You can break them down into smaller pieces. For example: Instead of resolving to lose 30 lbs. you can resolve to cut out fast food, soft drinks, sugar snacks and drinks, drink more water and walk three days a week until March and then add in two days at the gym. Before you know it your 30lbs will be gone. Instead of having the 30 lbs goal looming over your head you can chip away at it by achieving your smaller resolutions. In the long run you'll be much healthier.
Make your list of resolutions. Don't make a short list of huge goals. Make a list with many smaller goals. If you need to put down 20 resolutions, go for it!

Think of steps you can talk to improve your relationships with family and friends. Stop missing reunions, take time out for your spouse or spend time with your kids. Think of what you can do to make those relationships better.
Think of steps you can talk to improve your relationships with family and friends. Stop missing reunions, take time out for your spouse or spend time with your kids. Think of what you can do to make those relationships better.
Sit down with your family and friends and discuss your goals and why you made them. Ask for their support on these goals throughout the year. If possible, team up and visit the gym or shop at the health food store together. Ask them to speak up if you slip and order a Diet Coke instead of a water or forget another goal on your list.
Print copies of your resolutions and save a copy on each computer.
Email a copy to your work address.
Make a smaller copy and keep it in your wallet.
Post a copy on the outside of your refrigerator! Use bright paper so it catches your eye and don't let it get hidden behind coupons and artwork.
If possible, post a copy at the office. Consider sharing your list with an office friend. You'll have that support system everywhere you go.

Happy New YOU!
Happy New YOU!
Congratulations! Your resolutions have been made. Keep checking back to your list daily to keep your eye on the ball. Don't be afraid to add new goals throughout the year.
Keep at it. The best goals in the world will do no good if you don't follow through.
Don't try to plan your resolutions when you're in a bad mood or pressed for time. Taking time to make a thoughtful list will make your goals easier to achieve.
Consider setting up a little competition with your family or friends to keep focused on a tough goal. Does the loser buy a healthy lunch? Maybe take a family vacation to a great beach if everyone hits their goals by July.
Don't get discouraged if you slip. By checking your list frequently you can stay on track or refocus after a bad spell.
Try to volunteer each year. Whether you volunteer alone or with your family it sets a good example.
Here's a great resolution: Purge your closets of all those clothes you haven't worn in years. Donate it to a charity or donate the appropriate clothes to a homeless outreach facility. (See your local VA hospital.)
It can be hard to maintain your motivation and dedication to making a change in your life. When you fall off track with your resolution, whether it be to try and quit smoking or to lose weight by exercising and changing your diet, use the next Monday as the day to recommit. Healthy Monday, a non-profit national public health campaign association with Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health, encourages people to use Monday as the day for health and disease prevention. If you have a weekly chance to get back on track with your New Year's Resolution, you'll have a greater chance of success.

Picking unrealistic goals can really lower morale when you can't meet the goals. Start small.


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