How to Succeed with New Year Resolutions

"There are two common mistakes that people tend to make when they start to make their New Year resolutions: They think about what they 'should' do, rather than what they really want to do. And worse, they think about what they should stop doing, rather than what they actually want to achieve. 'What should I do this year?' 'What should I stop doing?', 'What do other people suggest I should work on?'

"To be successful at any change, you need to really want it. Unless you take the time to think about what it is that you really want you (rather than what you should do or should stop doing), you will invariably end up making resolutions that you are not fully committed to.

"Without commitment, you aren't motivated. After the first setbacks or obstacles, you'll probably quit. So the first rule of New Year Resolutions is to only make resolutions that you can commit to – don't make them because it is 'the thing to do', or because someone has told you that you should...

"Eight Rules for New Year's Resolutions

"Our Eight Rules for New Year's Resolutions will help to set you up for success right from the start. Inevitably you will come up against challenges and road blocks along the way; however by planning ahead and following these rules, you'll be better placed to deal with these problems easily, rather than stumble and quit.

"Rule 1: Commit to Your Resolution...

Choose resolutions that you really want to achieve – and express them in a positive way.
Announce your resolution to everyone around you – they will help to hold you accountable.
Develop a ceremony to mark the beginning of your commitment – this makes it more "real" and special for you.
Don't leave your choice of resolution to the last minute - take time to think about your goals, and make sure that you are mentally committed to them...

"Rule 2: Be Realistic...

"Rule 3: Write It Down...

"Rule 4: Make a Plan

Start by envisioning where you want to be.
Then work back along your path to where you are today, writing down all of the milestones that you need to pass in between.
Decide what you will do to reach each of these milestones, at least at a high level. (You can plan in more detail as you reach that stage.)

"Rule 5: Be Flexible
Not everything will work out precisely the way you planned. If you are too rigid in your approach to making resolutions, the first minor obstacle can throw you off your course completely..."

Rule 6: Use a System of Reminders...

Rule 7: Track Your Progress...

Rule 8: Reward Yourself..."

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