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10 From GEM: 10 Tips To Make Your New Year’s Resolutions Stick

Creative Commons/bcbusinesshub

Creative Commons/bcbusinesshub

10 From GEM:
10 Tips To Make Your New Year’s Resolutions Stick

One-third of people who made New Year’s resolutions this week will have broken them by the end of January. If you have the desire to work for your resolutions, dreams, and goals and you want to beat the odds, you’re in the right place. In this week’s 10 From GEM, you’ll read about 10 things you can do to make sure your New Year’s resolutions don’t disappear in the wind. While we’re at it, let’s refer to resolutions as goals, shall we? A resolution is just an intention waiting for a plan—and that’s where goals come in.

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1. KNOW WHO YOU ARE 

Creative Commons/BhumiJoshi

Creative Commons/BhumiJoshi

Knowing what you are and are not willing or able to do (and then being honest with yourself about it) is the first step in sticking to your goals. Let’s say you’ve been eating lots of processed and fast food. You’re determined to eat healthier meals this year. Are you going to totally overhaul your diet in one day? Probably not. And not because you lack the willpower to do it, but because you’re trying to change months—even years—of bad habits. That takes time. You’re more likely to stick with this goal if you resolve to cook one healthy meal a week and keep adding more days as the weeks go by.

Read more: Monday Morning Motivation: Keep Walking! It’s a Journey, Not A Destination..

2. THINK SMALL FOR BIG RESULTS

Creative Commons/falequin

Creative Commons/falequin

Sure, it’s great to have big goals you want to accomplish (Lose weight! Write a novel! Get out of debt!), but you’ve got to have smaller targets within the big one. Losing weight is one of the most popular New Year’s goals, so let’s go with an example of a person who wants to lose 30 pounds by June 30—the date when half the year is over. If you’re just stuck on the number 30, it will seem huge, maybe impossible, to get there. What if you focused on the number 5? That’s the number of pounds you’d have to lose every month to reach your goal. Totally doable.

Read more: 10 From GEM: 10 “Notes To Self” To Remember Every Day

3. WRITE DOWN YOUR GOALS 

Creative Commons/Bailey Doesn't Bark

Creative Commons/Bailey Doesn’t Bark

No doubt about it, writing down your goals is an effective way to reach them. By doing so, you’ve tangibly made yourself accountable to yourself. You have something that you can read several times a day to refresh your determinations. My friend told me that she’s making sure she can’t get away from her goals this year. She has documents on her laptop, phone, iPad, and her work computer. She’s reading them first thing in the morning and before bed. Some are even posted around her house. Her determination is admirable and I’m looking forward to hearing about her successes.

Read more: 10 From GEM: 10 Motivational Quotes To Start Your Day

4. EXPRESS GOALS IN
BEHAVIORS AND MEASURES

Creative Commons/gunnar3001

Creative Commons/gunnar3001

Goals must be defined in order to successfully reach them. Saying you want to stop smoking is useless if you don’t have a specific plan for how to get there and a way to measure whether you’re actually doing it. Your goals must be SMART—Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely. Consider expressing your stop-smoking goal this way: I will stop smoking by March 30 by smoking one less cigarette every day.

Read more: 10 From GEM: 10 Ways To Brighten Your Day

5. FOCUS ON WHAT YOU HAVE TO GAIN

Creative Commons/MR. G IMAGE

Creative Commons/MR. G IMAGE

Too often, people aren’t successful in reaching their goals because they focus on what they have to give up today rather than what they have to gain tomorrow. When reaching for big goals, the proper perspective is necessary. If you continually think about foods you’ve given up on the road to weight loss, it will be an arduous journey. Train yourself to think of all the delicious and healthy foods you’ve added to your menu. Think about the beautiful new clothing you’ll buy. Think about your new self-image.

Read more: Life Connections: Eye On The Prize… Head In The Clouds.

6. REWARD YOURSELF 

Creative Commons/.katie.walker.

Creative Commons/.katie.walker.

You will experience many small victories as you work toward your goals. Celebrate them! Reward yourself often enough to stay encouraged. If you’re working to get out of debt, watch your balances get lower. As you hit milestones, reward yourself. Obviously, you don’t want to increase your debt, but this can work if you plan to set aside a few bucks for small rewards. You can buy something inexpensive like a new scarf to go with the old coat you decided not to replace so you could save money. If you choose not to go with rewards, don’t discount the power of all those feel-good emotions that come with success.

Read more: Guest Posting: 5 Techniques You As A Manager Should Teach Your Peeps

7. PRACTICE “BACK FROM THE FUTURE”
THINKING

Creative Commons/emmepi14photographer

Creative Commons/emmepi14photographer

This idea comes from motivational speaker and author Brian Tracy. If you’re into visualization (and you really should be because successful people do it all the time), envision yourself as you plan to be six months, a year, or two years from now. The guiding question to ask is, “If everything happens perfectly, what will it look like?” If you can project yourself into the future, you can come back to today, so to speak, and carry out the steps needed to write your new life story.

Read more: Working Mother Woes: Why They Can Be Out Of This World!

8. GET INSPIRED

Creative Commons/Raven Rocks Studio Mary Jo

Creative Commons/Raven Rocks Studio Mary Jo

Inspiration will help you restart your engines when you feel like you’re losing focus. You may start to ask yourself why you’re trying to reach this “impossible” goal. Time to engage in some activities that will remind you why you’re making changes in the first place. Here are some thing you can do to get inspired: create a vision board, participate in a forum or community of people who share your goals, do something different in your daily life, and write a guest blog post about your field of endeavor.

Read more: Monday Morning Motivation: Quit Yer B*tchin’ And Bloom Where You’re Planted! (VIDEO)

9. GET ADVICE

Creative Commons/Brian Warren

Creative Commons/Brian Warren

As much as you think you know about how to reach your particular goals, there are people who know more. Find those people and ask them to teach you new ideas. Many won’t mind sharing what they love to talk about. They can share steps to take, traps to avoid, and generally open your eyes to something you didn’t know or hadn’t thought about.

Read more: Life Lessons: Educator’s Edition…Jill Cooper

10. DON’T GET DISCOURAGED

Creative Commons/hankthetank2009

Creative Commons/hankthetank2009

Though there will be plenty of victories, there will be times you stumble to reach your goals. Sometimes the process is painful. Sometimes you’ll take one step forward and instead of two steps back, you will fall. But setbacks are just setups for your comeback. No matter what happens, stay committed to all the positive changes you’re making. Do something different that refocuses you and gets you back on track. And take a deep breath. You can do this.

Read more: Monday Morning Motivation: 4 Reasons you MUST Stop Hating On You!

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You are doing great things on your journey. There’s no reason why you can’t reach your goals this year and for the rest of your life. This is the year of YOU!

What are your goals for the New Year? How will you make sure you reach them? Join the conversation below or on Facebook.

More From GEM:

Our Story Begins: Forget the Resolutions!

Life Lessons: ME! In 2014

It’s New Year’s Eve.. 10 Foods To Partake Of (And 2 To Avoid) For A Prosperous 2013!

 

picmonkey alexis

Alexis Trass Walker lives in Gary, Indiana, with her husband and four children. She is managing editor of Good Enough Mother. Read more about Alexis on her blog www.lilliebelle.org or follow her on Twitter @LillieBelle5.

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