Friday, December 28, 2007

It’s almost 2008—do you know where your resolutions are?

Oh, come on, you know you want to. Each year you say you won’t, that it’s not worth the disappointment, but you make a New Year’s resolution anyway. And by Valentine's Day, it’s about as memorable as last year’s Oscar winners.

If so, you might be interested to learn that the key to a "keepable" resolution has less to do with what you resolve than with how you approach your goal and how you handle the inevitable bumps along the way. Henrik Edburg over at The Positivity Blog has some wonderful suggestions on how to make a New Year’s resolution you’ll actually keep:

  1. Choose something you want—not something that others expect or that you’re “supposed” to be striving for.

  2. Choose one thing. Trying to change too many habits at once is a sure-fire recipe for frustration. Choose one, and if you hit your goal by midyear, terrific—just pick another area to focus on.

  3. Focus on the process. Process-oriented resolutions (“I will go to the gym 3 times a week”) stand a much better chance of survival than those focused on a destination (“I will lose 15 pounds”).

  4. Make it easy on yourself. If you’re resolving to hit the gym, make sure the location is convenient for you; if you want to save money, avoid stores and websites that tend to spur impulse buying.

  5. Educate yourself. For example, if your goal is to quit smoking, talk to people who have successfully kicked the habit, and check out websites, blogs, books, and magazine articles on the subject.

  6. Realize that setbacks will happen. You will have bad days along the way, and beating yourself up only makes things worse. Decide ahead of time that you will view setbacks as just that, not as failures.

  7. Just do it—even if you don’t feel like it. After the first few weeks, it’s only natural for your enthusiasm to wane a bit; pushing through these moments of resistance is the key to making lasting changes.

Here’s to a happier, healthier, more prosperous new year, ladies!

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