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Breaking Down Your New Year's Resolution

The New year is officially here, and this is the time many people begin to think about the changes they would like to see in the themselves. You will hear a lot of people make the resolution to “lose weight”, followed by “save money” and “exercise/eat right”. Unfortunately, New Year’s Resolutions usually just become a to-do list for the first week of January, until the first goal is not met, and the whole thing is a bust.

Plan for Success

There are many different methods to help you keep your goals: online forums, apps to download on your phone, have your family harass you until you begin foaming at the mouth and they stop… Or you can just make yourself do it. This one doesn’t usually work. Maybe “quit procrastinating” should actually be #1? But then, what if you procrastinate at not procrastinating? Now there’s a catch-22 make no mistake!

Unexpected Benefits:

Keeping your New Year’s Resolutions and reaching your long term goals is good for you in more ways than just “losing weight”. Of course, keeping your resolution is good by itself, but even the simple knowledge that you are accomplishing your goals has it’s own benefitsl. When checking these items off of your to-do list, your body releases “feel good” chemicals known as endorphins. These are the same chemicals that are released while you are talking to a loved one, after successfully finishing a stressful task, or getting a foot massage after a long day on your feet. However, completing even simple tasks (flossing your teeth, for example) releases endorphins. It’s the physical act of crossing off a task or goal that your brain reacts to. This works the same way with your pesky New Year’s Resolutions.

Corporations make big money by capitalizing on marketing items and services towards helping you keep your New Year’s Resolutions. Weight loss apps, websites to try to keep you accountable, even hypnotherapy; all aimed at your pocketbook but cleverly disguised as helping you keep your New Year’s Resolutions. We’ve all made resolutions that seem impossible to keep after a week, but that’s usually because our goals are nearly always unattainable. The absolute key to keeping your New Year’s Resolutions is to break them into smaller, more manageable goals. It is these smaller, manageable goals that add up to one great big goal, and makes the entire resolution absolutely reachable. Break your weight loss goal into 10% increments and reward yourself (but not with pizza!).

If your goal is to save money, start by depositing only $10 or $20 from each payday into a separate savings account. Do you want to quit smoking? Reduce by 1 stick per week until you feel comfortable, then reduce by 2 a week, and so on. As you watch your smaller achievements add up, so will you watch your self-esteem and resolution to see your goals reach fruition grow.

The Break Down:

When writing your New Year’s Resolutions on paper, keep in mind smaller goals you can break them into. This may make your New Year’s Resolution list look like Santa’s naughty list, but remember, the more of those little goals you check up, the stronger your will to complete it will become. So remember, keep your goals specific, break them into manageable goals, and give yourself TIME. Even if you fall off of the wagon, brush yourself off and get back on. As Elbert Hubbard said, “There is no failure except in no longer trying”.

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