Do you subscribe to the philosophy that resolutions are made to be broken, or do you believe the New Year’s holiday is an opportunity for change?

Resolution makers generally fall into one of three categories. There are the serious resolution makers who, year after year, dedicate themselves to self-improvement and use the holiday as a launching pad for success. Then there are the people who start with good intentions; however, they don’t follow through and see their goals to the end. The last group of people are the ones who make resolutions on the spot. Someone asks them what their New Year’s Resolution is and they make one up just to have something to say. I’ve certainly found myself in this group from time to time, and so have many others.

What group do you fall into?

Many people do not take this life-changing opportunity seriously. New Year is actually the perfect time to dedicate yourself to a goal. Here’s why:

• You’re in the right frame of mind. It’s a time of planning and reflection. There is no better time to make a life change than when you are assessing the past and planning for the future.
• You will have the support of friends and family committing to similar goals.

• It’s a good measurement. A year is an excellent yardstick. A year gives you enough time to plan how you’re going to achieve your goals, make mistakes, and still come out successful.

Why do we make resolutions?

When you think about resolutions you’ve made in the past, what were your reasons? What did you hope to accomplish? Were you just going along with the crowd or did you really want to change your life? When you look back, do you find that you were in the group that didn’t take the holiday and the opportunity to improve your life seriously? If so, why? Do you subscribe to the philosophy that resolutions are made to be broken, or do you believe the New Year’s holiday is an opportunity for change?

If you fall into the group that believes resolutions are made to be broken, maybe it’s time for a change of heart. Maybe it’s time to make goals that will improve your life.

Want to give it a try? Here’s how:

• Choose a resolution that feels attainable. If you choose a lofty goal that you’re not confident you can achieve, you may end up giving up because you feel overwhelmed or frustrated. Choosing a goal you’re confident you can attain will help you create a pattern of success.

• Break it up into small steps. Any large goal can be broken into a series of smaller goals. For example, if you want to lose 50 pounds, begin by setting a smaller goal. Maybe losing five pounds is a good start.

• Make your goals both measurable and timely. Losing 50 pounds is a measurable goal. Losing 50 pounds in 12 months makes it timely. Now you have a deadline.

• Reward yourself

• Research potential obstacles and prepare for them.

New Year’s Resolutions don’t have to be broken. With the right frame of mind and proper goal setting techniques, New Year’s Resolutions can be successful, life changing and rewarding experiences.

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