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Make – and keep – your New Year’s Resolutions

January 2, 2012

You may be perfect, but most of us are looking to improve some area of our lives.

Here it is, the first week of January. Back to reality. Some of you likely overate and expanded your waistlines, and some of you unfortunately increased your credit card debt with your holiday purchases.

If this is the case, you probably have made a New Year’s resolution to lose weight and improve your personal finances. I’m guessing this was your resolution this past year too.

Recently I read about New Year’s resolutions. According to the source I was reading, 80 percent of resolutions fail by Jan. 20, and 92 percent fail by the end of the year.

People run into trouble with resolutions by starting in the wrong place. Dr. Mehmet Oz and Dr. Michael Roizen believe your first resolution should be to give yourself respect. When you are confident in who you are and who you want to become, it is easier to start the journey. If you are still beating yourself up over your previous failures, you will have difficulty reaching your goals.

Once you respect yourself, the next step is to make your goals attainable. To lose 30 pounds or save $5,000 may seem daunting at first, and you may become discouraged if you face some setbacks. Break these goals down to smaller parts in order to attain them. Start with a goal of exercising three times a week and saving $5 a day. You will feel good as you lose more or save more, and that should keep you motivated to keep going toward your big goals.

To stay focused on your goals, write down your big goals and your daily goals. Keep a daily journal of what you did that day to get closer to your goal. The daily writing will help keep you accountable.

Another way to help with accountability is to have an accountability partner. If you want to save more, find someone else working toward the same thing. Then, you can encourage each other as you go through the progress. It can be difficult if you have peer pressure to eat more or spend more. If that is the case, change the people you hang out with so you have encouragement as opposed to temptations.

Some people avoid New Year’s resolutions altogether. Author, consultant and speaker Chris Brogan does not have New Year’s resolutions; rather, he chooses three words to focus on in the coming year.

I encourage you to consider three words that will define 2012 for you. They may be conserve, excellence, health, moderation, save or value. Choose words that will help you become more of the person you want to be, then focus every day on those words. They should become more of a part of your daily life rather than an end goal.

This year, with an extra day for Leap Year, we will have 8,760 hours, or 525,600 minutes to spend. How you choose to spend your time will influence your personal finances and your health. I think 2012 will be a great year. I hope it is for you, too.

One Comment leave one →
  1. warwickbeauchamp permalink
    January 3, 2012 11:55 am

    Love the cartoon – and the focus on single words with depth of meaning!

    I’m in the process of writing a book on goal setting and achievement myself – would appreciate you having a look and giving me any feedback… If you’d be kind enough to fill in the questionnaire there’ll be a free copy of the book for you when it’s published!

    Have a look here:

    All the best for achieving your goals in 2012!!!!

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