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How to Make New Year's Resolutions You Will Keep

12/22/2014 05:00 EST | Updated 02/21/2015 05:59 EST
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I love New Years Day! A fresh start with lots of hope and new beginnings. I am one of those people who loves to plan everything so that I'm always ahead of schedule on the things I want to accomplish. And since I am so good at micro and macro-managing my tasks and goals, I thought I would share with you the key elements to jump start your New Year.

Choose Wisely

Every year I make a New Year's resolution, and I am dedicated to achieving my goals before the year ends. Sometimes I accomplish these goals. Sometimes I don't. However, I know that the key to keeping my New Year's resolution is to be realistic about what I set out to accomplish so that I am more likely to achieve it. I realized that the most common error that people make when creating a New Year resolution is setting their expectations too high. Here are few things to consider when choosing your New Year resolution:

In order to make wise choices you need to know what it is that you want. You need to clearly state your goal.

Do not rush this part of the process spend a few days thinking about what you want; take time to examine your motives, why do you want this?

Allow yourself a maximum of ten days to ponder, consider, challenge, research and otherwise give thought to what it is you truly want.

At the end of those ten days write it down. Read it out loud, still sound good, then you have taken the next step you have a goal that you can articulate.

Be Specific

The more details and parameters you have, the easier it will be to achieve your New Year's resolution. You might just get what you ask for but first you must be specific about what you want. Instead of just wishing for a better life or wishing for a more pleasant situation, be specific about the goal you wish to achieve. An essential part of getting what you desire is clearly expressing what you desire. Study, or become an expert on the topic. This will give you knowledge and motivation about what it is you set out to accomplish.

Create A Plan

Unfortunately, the majority of individuals who make a new year's resolution end up breaking it. By February, nearly half have already failed. Proper planning is extremely critical in achieving a New Year's resolution. I believe that constructing an effective plan is vital to one's success therefore I tend to create goals that include time-lines and benchmarks in order to measure my accomplishments. By formulating a plan, and outlining exactly how I intend on achieving it, I am holding myself accountable, and I believe accountability is an important element to achieving any goal.

Make a Commitment

I read somewhere that it takes anywhere between 21-28 days to form a habit. Well, I don't know how true that is, but I do believe that once you make a commitment to change something your doing or not doing, that these things are required:

  • Discipline or strict obedience

  • Being clear about your choice

  • Using force is necessary such as using physical energy or power

  • Practice as in action is required to make improvements

Set Deadlines

Deadlines create a sense of urgency and make our goals a priority. Without establishing deadlines most people will put their New Year resolution off forever, accomplishing very little. Simply put, no deadline, no real incentive to get things done.

Post Reminders

I know you've heard the statement "out of sight out of mind." Therefore, writing your New Year resolution down and keeping it in view--say, on a post-it note on your computer monitor or car dashboard--makes it feel official and tangible. Be sure to use clear, short and focused phrases.

Use a Reward System

No good deed goes unnoticed therefore consider rewarding yourself for keeping your New Year resolution. This doesn't mean that you should reward yourself with a pint of ice cream if your resolution is to lose 15 pounds. Instead celebrate your success by treating yourself to something that you enjoy that does not contradict your resolution. If you've been sticking to your promise to eat better, for example, perhaps your reward could be to treat yourself to a night out to a movie with a friend.

If after you've read the key elements necessary to jump start your New Year you find yourself stuck, consider hiring an expert. Someone who can help you get unstuck and who can help you come up with not just one, but many solutions to take help you reach your New Year resolutions.

To learn more about Collette Gee, Holistic Love Coach, click here.

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