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Accomplish Your New Year Resolutions

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I love a new year. It always offers me a good reason to take a personal inventory by reviewing the past, sizing up the present, and peeking into the future. It also is an excellent time to make simple achievable short term goals. But my New Year resolutions for 2007 look hauntingly familiar to my 2006 list. I could get discouraged but I have renewed energy and desire to succeed. To help, I consulted planning expert - Sherri Johnson - for her advice. Here are her suggestions.
Difficulty: Average
Time Required: n/a

Here's How:

  1. Break down your resolutions into major groups such as:
    Personal
    Health
    Household
    Professional

    Examples of Grouped Goals:
    * Personal
    - Avoid being so sarcastic.
    - Remember to send birthday cards to my friends and family.

    * Health
    - Lose 30 pounds in three months.
    - Get a physical by April.

    *Household
    - Keep my closets clutter-free.
    - Re-do Jimmy's room.

    * Professional
    - Focus on staying better organized.
    - Be part of the solution not part of the problem: avoid gossip!

  2. Organize Your Goals by Short and Long
    Separate the short-term goals from the more complex long-term goals. For example, under Personal, I've decided I want to lose 10 pounds over the next 3 months. That would be a short term goal. I also want to get on a permanent walking and exercise plan, obviously a long-term goal.

  3. Use Tools to Help You Achieve Your Resolutions
    Good tools can help guide you toward reaching your goals but avoid costly long term financial commitments right away.

    Example: If exercise is your goal, try out the free introductory offers at your local gym before signing a two year contract.
    Example:If you want to quit smoking go online and find expert advice for free.

  4. Set Reasonable Deadlines When Applicable
    For example, telling yourself that you are going to lose 50 pounds over the next 30 days is not reasonable. Telling yourself you will begin eating light lunches for the next 3 months to help knock off 10 pounds, is reasonable.

  5. Review Your Achievments
    Discipline yourself to review how you are doing and see which goals have been reached and which one's you have not even begun. Mark on your calendar when you will be doing your reviews. For some, every month may be necessary to keep focused, for others every three months may work. But without reviewing where you stand it is too easy to forget you even had a goal you wanted to achieve.

  6. Compromise and Revise
    Say your goal is to paint your house by March and at the end of March you only painted part of the house. Should you feel as if you have failed and forget dealing with the rest of the house? No! Just revise your list over the next few months to accommodate what has not been done.

  7. Pay Close Attention to Recurring Goals
    Be tenacious especially with those goals that have been on prior years lists. If your goal is and has been over the last few years to quit smoking, prioritize it and put your energy into succeeding. A repetitive resolution should take priority over any others.

  8. Celebrate Your Successes
    Take time to set up a reward plan for yourself when you accomplish your goal. If for example your goal was to reorganize your sock drawer and you get it done, why not reward yourself with a new pair of socks.

  9. Procrastination is for Losers
    Avoid procrastination. The 'Just Do It' slogan by Nike comes to mind here. If you really believe the goals that you set for yourself will improve your well being - just do it!

Tips:

  1. Dieting Go to your local library and browse the many diet books available before going out to purchase one.
  2. Saving Money Open a special bank account to keep track of any money that you save due to being frugal. Take the ten dollars you saved by using coupons and put it in the bank. Seeing it accumulate will be rewarding and encourage you to stay on track.
  3. Get Help Don't be afraid to seek professionals to help you reach your goal. If you want to quit smoking and have failed in the past try talking to your doctor about possible alternative methods.
  4. The Buddy System. Husband and wives often make resolutions to improve their diet and exercise and use the "buddy system" to accomplish their goals. Alcoholics Anonymous has used a similar method for decades. The bottom line is that sometimes we feel weak and it helps to have support from a friend or loved one to regain our perspective.
  5. Don't give up!

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