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What’s Your Resolution and Sticking with It

Guest Post by Jen Malik

Man, if I had a dime for every resolution I made throughout the years. Or if I lost a pound for every resolution I’d ever made. Hehehe. Seriously, as I get older, choosing the right resolution and sticking with it, starts to get a bit easier. I’m never going to be a size 0 again and my chance at being a billionaire is likely over, so why not simply work toward a realistic happier, healthier life, right? That’s exactly what I plan to do for 2010.

If you’re making a resolution for the New Year, here are 10 tips for keeping it:

- Find a support system. This is crucial to any type of change in your life. Having someone who will keep you accountable and encourage you when you miss the mark is one way to stop you from quitting altogether. Rely on family, friends and coworkers to give you that swift kick when you need it.

- Use online tools. These are popping up everywhere, especially for weight loss resolutions. Many of the online tools are free to use. Sites like SparkPeople offer informative articles, message boards, meal planners, video resources and online food diaries to keep you going from day one.

- Write it down. Some people only verbalize their resolutions. The problem with that is you can forget what you said after the first week. It is scary but putting your resolutions on paper makes them real to you. It is a commitment that is needed if you want to succeed.

- Be specific. Writing down phrases like “Become more assertive” can mean anything. Where do you want to be more assertive and with whom? Instead, record something like “Go to my boss and ask for a raise this year.”

- Start with small steps. No one gets from A to Z in one step. Those who try are often disappointed. If this is a weight loss goal, begin with starting an exercise program. If you haven’t worked out in a while, this single piece of a larger goal will take some time to establish. Goals that involve cleaning up your entire home can begin with one room and then move onto to the others. Tackling a smaller step successfully fuels your drive to continue.

- See the big picture. This approach helps when you are feeling discouraged by disappointment. Don’t lose sight of your ultimate goal or resolution. It is still attainable even with a few setbacks. You’ll have more to rejoice about later.
- Visualize. See yourself completing your goal. In fact, see yourself completing each step of the journey. Thinking about skipping your workout session today? Visualize yourself in the class and, though tired, you make it through to the end with energy. The mind is a powerful tool that can help or hinder you. And hey, if you’re mind isn’t powerful enough, post pics of what you’d like right on your refrigerator. A trip to Hawaii? A slimmer you? Put it up and see it every day.

- Set a deadline. Open ended resolutions can go on forever. Give yourself a concrete time frame to keep from floundering in your goal.

- Resist comparing yourself with others. Someone else may have the same resolution. They also may seem to be getting farther in their goals than you. Resist the urge to compare yourself and end up discouraged. Each person is different and you don’t know what support system or other goal achieving tools they are using. Be happy for them and even ask how they are doing it so well.

- Abandon bad resolutions. There comes a time when some of your resolutions may have to meet the trash heap. It could have been a faulty resolution that wasn’t thought out well in the first place. It doesn’t mean failure. On the contrary, it could be just what you need to help you accomplish the ones that are manageable.

Overall, don’t beat yourself up. We all falter here and there. The important thing is to get back on track. So spill it…what’s your New Years Resolution?