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Want to stick to your New Year's Resolution? A checklist for success!

Tuesday, December 30, 2014


'Tis the season for making New Year's Resolutions! We all start off with such lofty goals, yet, by mid-January, many of us have dropped those resolutions by the wayside. Mentally, it's important to head into resolutions with eyes wide open. And there are some simple things we can all do to make sure our 2015 resolutions have a fighting chance! 

1. Set yourself up for success. 
Trying to get into a new fitness routine? Hoping to be kinder to others? Looking to quit smoking? Set yourself for success! Make sure you have the right equipment to get you started. Do you have a plan for working out? Have you looked into fitness classes or joining a gym? Have you decided how you'll spread kindness? Are you going to use a nicotine supplement to quit smoking, or are you fully prepared to go cold turkey? The best thing you can do is to surround yourself with the tools you need to succeed. Get those tools now so that come January 1, you're ready to begin. 

2. Try to avoid an all or nothing mentality. 
If you haven't eaten a vegetable in months, don't promise yourself that you're suddenly going to eat 5-9 servings a day. And if you've been overspending for a while, don't assume you're going to find yourself out of debt in the next month or two. It takes time to make these adjustments, and there's nothing wrong with starting small. You can always increase your resolution later once you see how well it's going. 

3. Tell everyone you know (it keeps you accountable). 
Share your resolutions with people close to you. Tell them what you're up to, and ask them to help you stay on track. And, bonus, you never know who might jump on board with you. If you tell others that your resolution is to work out three times a week, you might get a new workout buddy out of the deal! If for some reason you don't want to tell people in your life, start a blog and post it on a community page. Knowing your readers will be checking in with your progress is a great motivator! 

4. Make your resolution a priority, and give it plenty of time. 
Schedule time in to your day to complete your resolution. Set it up like you would an appointment or a date. Whether it's working out, getting finances in order, making healthy meals, or volunteering, you have to make the time for you to be successful. Carve out time and write it down in your planner, set reminders in your phone, and make sure nothing gets in the way of that. 

5. Eliminate the distractions.
You know all that time you spend on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Netflix, random websites, etc.? Those are all distractions. Don't let distractions get in the way! We all have time in the day if we can just eliminate some of those distractions. Get rid of them, and focus on what's really important!

6. Get inspired by others. 
This seems contradictory to number 5, but if you're feeling low on willpower or need some inspiration, find success stories. Cruise the internet or find blogs that discuss whatever it is you're trying to achieve. Sometimes reading about other people's journeys help us on our own. Let yourself be inspired! 

7. Don't throw in the towel if you fall of the wagon once or twice (or eight times).
Many of us are far too quick to give up on our resolutions, especially if we've fallen off the wagon. WAY WRONG THING TO DO! Resolutions shouldn't be all or nothing. So you skip a week of your scheduled eating plan. So what! Pick up where you left off, and keep moving forward. Resolutions don't have to be about perfection. They need to be about improvement. 

8. Have an end goal in mind. 
Is this a permanent change for you? Is this something you want to increase or decrease throughout the year? Know what your end goal is going to be, and keep your focus there. If your initial resolution is to workout three times a week for 30 minutes, is that still what you want to be doing in December, or will your goals have changed? If your goal is to spend zero dollars on going out to eat and shopping, is this something you can maintain until 2016? Think long term. This helps, too, when you might occasionally fall off the wagon. 

9. Reward your successes!
Doing an awesome job sticking to your workouts? Get yourself a few outfit! Doing an excellent job quitting smoking? Take yourself out for an afternoon smoke-free latte or espresso. Eating all those fruits and veggies? Reward yourself with a healthy meal that you don't have to make yourself. 

When all else fails, remember why you made this resolution in the first place. Chances are, you're trying to make a positive change in your life. Keep that focus, and you just can't go wrong! 



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