How to Stick with Your New Year’s Resolutions


 Now that we are officially into 2008, how are your New Year’s Resolutions going?  Are you off to a strong start or have you given up already?  Hopefully, you are committed to achieving your goals and are off to a running start.  But, if you are like most people, your resolutions will soon be forgotten.  There are many reasons that resolutions fail so quickly.

Now that we are officially into 2012, how are your New Year’s Resolutions going?  Are you off to a strong start or have you given up already?  Hopefully, you are committed to achieving your goals and are off to a running start.  But, if you are like most people, your resolutions will soon be forgotten.  There are many reasons that resolutions fail so quickly.  The good news is that by becoming aware of the reasons they fail, you can change your actions and help achieve your goals.  Let’s take a look at the most common sources of failure and how you can overcome each one.

Too large of a goal.  It’s great to shoot for the stars by setting a large goal.  It is important that the large goal be broken down into smaller, more manageable and measurable goals.  These goals should also be realistic. If your goal is to run a marathon this year, you should already have some running experience to build upon.  If you don’t currently run, this goal is too large and not very realistic.  To increase your current mileage, you would need a specific training program that gradually increases the distance and time you run each week.  Without these smaller steps, you won’t be able to achieve the larger goal.
- No plan.  Having a plan is critical to success but is one of the reasons that many people fail to achieve their goals.  The first step is to write down your goal and define it carefully.  Then, write down in detail how you will achieve it.  Be very specific and include details such as how and when.  This plan is your roadmap to success.  The more specific and measurable the plan, the better.   Having a written plan will keep you on track and moving forward.
- Lack of discipline/accountability.  Many people lack the discipline and accountability to reach their goals on their own.  This can be easily overcome by recruiting an accountability partner such as a friend or family member.  Find someone that has a similar goal and help keep other accountable and motivated.  Enlist whatever help and resources you think you’ll need before you need them.
- Procrastination.  Procrastination is one of the leading reasons that resolutions fail.  Have you ever said that you’ll start a diet next week?  Then next week comes and you don’t start the diet?  There’s no time like the present to get started!
- Too many goals.  Having too many goals can sabotage your success and become overwhelming.  The best way to overcome having too many goals is to narrow down your list to one or two goals and focus on only a couple of things at a time.  As soon as you achieve those goals, you can move down your list.
As you set your goals for 2012,  keep in mind some of the reasons that resolutions often fail and consider the potential roadblocks to achieving your goals.  Facing these roadblocks up front will prepare you to overcome them.  Log your progress along the way.  This log can help you through tougher times along the way when you may feel like giving up.  It is encouraging to see how far you have come already and motivate you to keep going.  Even baby steps will get you a little bit closer to your goal.  And last, but not least, remain flexible and willing to adjust your plan if necessary.  Sometimes you may need to take a detour along the way so it is very helpful to be flexible.  Don’t get discouraged and let this throw you completely off course.  Stay committed and keep going!

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