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5 Steps for Making and Keeping Your New Year’s Resolutions

Yes, it’s that time of year again! The time of year when we feel as if we have to turn over a new leaf. The time when we misguidedly imagine that the arrival of a new year will magically provide the catalyst, motivation and persistence we need to reinvent ourselves by making resolutions.

Traditionally, New Year’s Day is styled as the ideal time to kick start a new phase in your life and the time when you must make your all important new year’s resolutions. Unfortunately, the beginning of the year is also one of the worst times to make a major change in your habits because it’s often a relatively stressful time, right in the middle of the party and vacation season.

Don’t set yourself up for failure this year by vowing to make huge changes that will be hard to keep. Instead follow these five steps for new year’s resolution success.

1. Just pick one small thing

If you want to change your life or your lifestyle don’t try to change the whole thing at once. It won’t work. Instead pick one area of your life to change to begin with.

Make it something concrete so you know exactly what change you’re planning to make. If you’re successful with the first change you can go ahead and make another change after a month or so. By making small changes one after the other, you still have the chance to be a whole new you at the end of the year; and it’s a much more realistic way of doing it.

Don’t pick a New Year’s resolution that’s bound to fail either, like running a marathon if you’re 40lbs overweight and get out of breath walking upstairs. If that’s the case, resolve to walk every day. When you’ve got that habit down pat, you can graduate to running in short bursts, constant running by March or April and a marathon at the end of the year.

2. Make a plan and start

To ensure success, you need to research the change you’re making and plan ahead so you have the resources available when you need them. Here are a few tips to help you prepare:

  • Read up on it – Go online and get articles and books on the subject. Whether it’s adding a specialty in your practice, taking up running or becoming debt-free, there are unlimited resources to help you prepare. So, start reading!
  • Plan for success – Get everything ready so things will run smoothly. For example, If you want to reduce debt make sure you have a list of your debt and a money management software; then there can be no excuses. In addition. consider creating a vision board to help you visualize the outcome you desire throughout the year. This will help you stay on tract when you face challenges.
  • Get a mentor – Success leaves clues, so you don’t need to reinvent the wheel. Get professional advisors to help you! Enlist the help of a consultant and/or a mentor; someone who has achieved the goal you’re seeking and follow their proven system. This process will help you accomplish greater results much faster.

3. Anticipate Challenges

There will be challenges in the journey. Here’s how you can overcome them:

  • Make a list of the obstacles that have held you back up until this point and any other possible future obstacles.
  • Enlist the help of your advisors to create proactive strategies to tackle these obstacles.
  • Get an accountability partner to help you stay on tract.
  • Review your vision board often to remember your “Why”.

4. Be flexible to change

If you do fail and go over your budget or miss a few days of running don’t hate yourself for it. Make a note of the triggers that caused this set back and vow to learn a lesson from them.

If you know that alcohol makes you oversleep the next day cut back on it so you won’t miss your run. If you know that going out with your friends is important to you, add it in your budget to help you stick with your plan.

Perseverance is a key to success. Try again and keep trying until you succeed.

5. Celebrate the small wins

Small rewards are great encouragement to keep you going during the hardest first days. Once you get a momentum going, you can reward yourself with something bigger. For example, you can plan a trip to the movies to reward yourself for keeping your running schedule during the first week.

Later you can change the rewards to monthly and then at the end of the year; you can pick an anniversary reward- Something that you’ll look forward to. You deserve it and you’ll have earned it.

Whatever your plans and goals are for this year, I wish you much success. Remember that success is achieved by following a simple boring plan. Make your plan simple and easy to follow then just do it! I’ll definitely be cheering you on.