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December 29, 2013     2

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Top 10 Ways to Make Your New Year’s Resolutions Stick!

Some people are into New Years resolutions. Some people aren’t. I am definitely a resolutions guy. I inventory the year in review – looking at what I’ve accomplished, how I’ve evolved, what I’ve learned and what opportunities for growth have yet to be tackled. For all of us “Resolutionists”, the start of the New Year affords us the opportunity to turn over a new leaf and make some positive changes in our lives. But far too often, people lose momentum and give up on their resolutions after only a short time. So I wanted to equip you all with the tools needed to be successful this New Years. So without further adieu, here are my Top 10 ways to make your New Year’s resolutions stick..

1. Focus on a very small number of resolutions, rather than several. You are far more likely to succeed if you focus on a small, manageable, number of resolutions, rather than trying to overhaul your entire life with several, lofty ones.

2. Be specific with your resolutions. Be sure to set specific, actionable resolutions. I suggest creating resolutions modeled after SMART Goals (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Reasonable, and Time Oriented). For example, saying you want to lose weight is too vague and leaves plenty of room for failure. But saying I want to lose 10 pounds in 90 days with weekly weigh-ins and a deadline of 3/31/14 provides you a framework for success.

3. Take small steps. Many people fail at their resolutions because they choose to focus on the destination, rather than the journey. TRANSLATION: It’s all about mapping out the small steps you’ll need to take to get you where you want to go. For example, it may not be possible to tackle unhealthy eating all at once, so why don’t you start by changing what you eat for breakfast. Once you are comfortable with this change, then tackle your mid-morning snack. And so on. Make sense?

4. Have an accountability partner. Want to know why coaches like me exist? Because people need someone who not only helps them identify those things in their life they want to work on, but also holds them accountable for getting them done. Find someone close to you that you can share your resolution(s) with and schedule regular check-ins to report your progress. Maybe it’s having them check in with you weekly to see how you’ve progressed with those small steps you identified in Step 3 above.

5. Celebrate your success between milestones. If you want to stay motivated as you move towards your goals, it’s important you celebrate the small victories along the way. For example, if your resolution is to quit smoking, celebrate when you reduce your cigarette consumption by 25%, 50%, 75% and so on. Giving yourself credit along the way keeps you energized and invested in your overall goal.

6. Don’t let a “slip up” derail your resolution. Smoking an extra cigarette, eating a piece of cake or skipping a workout may be a set back for your resolution, but it’s certainly no reason (or excuse) to throw in the towel. If you have a “slip up”, treat yourself with compassion and recommit yourself to your resolution.

7. Stay presently focused. Your assignment is to complete that one thing you can do today towards your overall resolution. It’s all about tackling the day your in. Don’t focus on the past or sweat the future. As with all things, staying presently focused is your best bet for achieving success.

8. Focus your thinking on new behaviors and thought patterns. Making resolutions stick involves changing your existing behaviors. You accomplish this by replacing your old, unwanted habits with new ones. This takes time, discipline and patience. So for those of you who want to stop eating junk food or spending all of your free time on the couch, establish and focus on good habits such as eating healthy foods or working out regularly.

9. Don’t take yourself so seriously. It’s okay to have a healthy passion for successfully completing your resolutions, but don’t drive yourself, or those you love, crazy with an obsessive, complicated and controlled manner for reaching your goals. It’s okay to have fun and laugh at yourself along the way.

10. Don’t wait till New Year’s Eve to make resolutions. Resolutions (or any type of goal) can be made throughout the year. Don’t let New Years be the only time you identify, establish and pursue those things that will make you happier, healthier, stronger and more at peace.

Happy New Year! I hope that 2014 is a year of love, peace, joy and growth for each and every one of you!

Do you have any additional tips for sticking to your New Year’s resolutions? Would you be willing to share your resolutions with the rest of us? Join in on the conversation by adding your comments below.

KEEP MOVING FORWARD!

Joel

As always, my goal is to give my readers something useful, tangible and worth their time, so if you don’t like something you read here, leave it, and only take away what works for you.

  • Jackie L. says:

    This is a great list! Very comprehensive and easy to apply. I’m still working on staying presently focused. I have a tendency to get discouraged by the ‘big picture.’ Thank you for the reminder!

  • Noel says:

    Love this Joel! Great tips to apply anytime of the year :)

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