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How to Keep Your New Years Resolutions

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You made a New Year's resolution - maybe you made several New Year's resolutions. But you have already backslid a little and you are wondering whether to just give up on your well-intentioned resolutions. What now? How can you keep your New Year's resolutions and also keep your happiness and your sanity?

Here are some tips on re-evaluating your New Year's Resolutions and keeping those which still seem important...

1. For each resolution, revisit the reason you made that resolution. Do you have a deep commitment to making a change for your own betterment or long term happiness? Or did you resolve to change merely to please someone else? Or were all your friends making resolutions and you wanted to fit in?

Unless you have a deep commitment to making a lasting change, just stop now and forgive yourself. Change is only worthwhile when you undertake it for yourself and out of a deep commitment.

2. Have you chosen the best way to accomplish your underlying goals. If you went on a diet to become healthier, you might be better served by joining the gym. If your resolution to visit the gym daily is faltering, you might find a daily walk to be a better path toward your fitness goal.

3. Is your time frame realistic? Consider lengthening your time frame rather than abandoning your goal. Don't demand that you write a novel, find a lifetime partner, or lose twenty pounds in a single month.

4. Get support. Find a friend, or perhaps create a whole team, to support you in keeping your resolutions. Select a person or people who believe in you, believe in the importance of your goals, believe in your ability to achieve your goals, but also support you lovingly when you backslide. Establish a regular schedule for reporting your progress to your friend or the team.

5. Set interim goals, preferably daily goals. Often the short term goals are obvious. If your resolution is to write the first draft of a 50,000 word novel in a hundred days, it is clear what you need to do each day. However, if your goal were to find a loving and compatible lifetime partner in the next six months, you would need to create a detailed plan and establish a hierarchy of interim goals.

6. Keep a journal of your progress. Record your progress daily, whatever the day's results turn out to be. If your resolution is writing a novel, record the days you throw a whole chapter into the trash as well as the days you write nothing, or ten pages or five.

7. Reward yourself for each day's accomplishment. This does not mean to reward yourself by backsliding. Let the reward for keeping to your diet be granting yourself time to read a great book, or making a small purchase, NOT eating a piece of chocolate.

8. Love, honor, and respect yourself whatever you do or do not do.



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Jonathan Lockwood Huie
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