10. Choose a
resolution that suits you. Don't be swayed by peer pressure or trends. For
example, if you hate swimming, don't choose the Escape from Alcatraz triathlon,
no matter how cool it sounds. Go with a goal that fits your personality.
9. Be realistic. It's a common
mistake to shoot for the moonaiming your sights far too high, and thereby
setting yourself up for failure. Be fair to yourself: Assess what you've been
able to achieve in the past and work off of this baseline. The primary example
of this is the ever-popular "I'm going to quit smoking," a resolution that
tends to get blown offliterallyduring the latter stages of a New Year's Day
hangover. Try a more reasonable pledge, such as "I'm going to cut down each
month with the goal of quitting by the end of the year." Your decision doesn't
have to be black or white. Never eating fast food sounds sexy. But if the car
is where you have your most frequent dining experiences, opt for a more
8. Make only
one resolution. We all have many things we'd like to improve on, but don't
try to take them on all at once. Focus on one major goal. If you're succeeding
come mid-year and want to add something else, that's great. January isn't the
only time you can improve yourself.
behaviors instead of numbers. We often use events like races, reunions,
etc., as a target, but make your ultimate goal to change your behavior. That
way, if you get sick, injured, or are too busy to participate in your event,
you can still succeed with your resolution.
6. Plan in advance. Statistics are skewed by those
who make resolutions at the last minute. You've seen it. Perhaps you've done
it. You knowthings like vowing to quit drinking after your fifth martini on New
Year's Eve. These resolutions are often broken before you hit the sack.
Planning ahead allows you to make rational decisions about what you are capable
of. It also gives you time to strategize ways to break old patterns or avoid
5. Allow for
some failure. It isn't realistic to think you'll make it through an entire
year without a glitchafter all, none of us are perfect. A resolution that
doesn't account for any slipups is one that's designed to fail. Find ways to
make up for mistakes, and don't be too hard on yourself. Mistakes are part of
4. Get support. Announce your resolution to family and
friends so that they can help . . . and then allow them to help. Even
the strongest of us need support from time to time. For most of the popular
resolutions (exercise, diet, smoking, etc.), there are support groups
available. (Editors note:
really does offer great support programs to keep you on track)
your point of view. The mind is a powerful ally. Reprogram yours to focus
on the positive effects of your resolution. Instead of thinking about how it
might rob you of a pleasure, focus on how it's going to make you feel happier
and healthier. Don't focus on "cutting out junk food," instead think "eat
healthier so I'll feel better."
Don't give up. Throughout the year you're bound to go through a bad
stretch or two; we all do. Hang in there and get through it. Even if you barely
have the motivation to get out of bed, stick to your plan. Fighting through the
bad times gives you resolve and makes the good times that much sweeter.
Remember, "That which doesn't kill you, makes you stronger."
1. Remember your ultimate goal. The goal is improve
your life, right? Keep this in mind, and it will keep you going when you slip
up. If you "fail" yet still improve, it's not really a failure at all. It's a
success. And isn't that the whole point of this resolution thing? Happy New