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Wednesday, December 19, 2007

How to Keep Your New Year’s Resolutions

The New Year is round the corner. Like most people, I come up with a list of my resolutions for the New Year. And probably like most people, I start the New Year enthusiastically with my New Year’s resolutions but come my birthday in February’s end, most of my New Year’s resolutions may have turned into New Year delusions.

I have made some progress in the past with goals I listed as my New Year’s resolutions, like getting a higher education, traveling to other countries, see more of the world, and spend more time with the family, my mum and siblings. These get dropped off my list, but not necessarily making my list shorter as I always add new goals as I progress along. I do notice, however, that I seem to be making some of the same New Year’s resolutions year after year. But I figured if I don’t give up year after year, I could successfully achieve everything on my list, no matter how many years it would take; the very least, I develop the habit of planning for a better and more enriched life.

So, here I go again, listing out my New Year’s Resolutions according to my priority for the New Year this time around:

  • Pay off Debt
  • Save Money
  • Exercise More
  • Lose the Bulge
  • Learn Something New - learn a new skill, travel more
  • Help Others – Volunteer more


Why even bother having a list of New Year’s resolutions if one can never keep them anyways, you may ask. I keep asking myself that, too, year in, year out. I have partly answered that already.

Essentially, it is all about planning ahead, and keeping check of your life. When you plan ahead, you basically have a plan of actions or strategies or steps to reach your goals. Having thought out and written down your action plans gives you the advantage of checking your progress, and if your resolutions remain unresolved, this allows you to revisit and review your action plans for any shortcomings or even refine any of your resolutions which may be unrealistic.

Here are some tips I have gathered to help keep your New Year’s resolutions.

1. Be Realistic

To avoid falling short of your goals, your New Year’s resolutions must be attainable. Ensure that they are all reasonable and not ‘all or nothing’ resolutions. The goals you set should be achievable in steps or phases so that you will have better chance in realizing them.

2. Plan Ahead – Create Your Plan

To achieve your resolutions, put in some thoughts on your goals and plan ahead. Create an outline for your plans. You will be more successful if the resolutions can be translated into clear steps that can be put into action.

3. Remind Yourself Everyday

One has to think ‘year round’, not just the New Year. Nobody can accomplish anything big in one day. Although the resolutions are set in one day, but you can only accomplished them by taking many, many tiny steps throughout the year. Your list of New Year's resolutions should be nothing more than a starting point. Stick to the plan of action that you have laid out, and create reminders for yourself when it's time to work on a given task or start onto the next step.

4. Talk About It or Get a Resolution Partner

You will need to create a support group among friends and family members who can support your resolve to change for the better. Your best bet would be your best buddy or a sibling or daughter/son so that you can motivate each other.

5. Seek out Resources

You can do some research by looking up resources on the Internet if you are lazy like me to go to the library. Your local dailies and magazines could be other sources of information. Or you can always inquire and discuss with friends or family members to explore resources to educate yourself on approaches that can assist you in reaching your goals.

6. Monitor your Progress

Monitoring your progress can keep you focus on your goals. Keep track of each small success you make when following the steps you have laid down. It is the small accomplishments that will help keep you motivated.

7. Reward Yourself

Make a decision to reward yourself for the small accomplishments you have made; make it something personal and special. It does not need to be luxurious or expensive; maybe something simple like a one-hour massage, or a weekend getaway. Pamper yourself; treat yourself with little rewards every time for sticking to your resolutions.

8. Never Give up

If you run out of steam couple of months in the New Year, don’t despair. Refresh yourself on your resolutions. Recap why you even bother to list those goals as your resolutions; your earlier enthusiasm could motivate you on. The resolutions are for the whole year long; you can always pick up where you left off on your steps of action. Stay positive and, more importantly, remain grateful that you still have the resources and capability to pursue your goals towards your own success in life.

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