Top 10 Countdown to Achieving New Year’s Resolutions

Every year we muster up a New Year’s Resolution—some of us in the last few seconds before the New Year—only to break it in the months to come. Resolutions are meant to be an opportunity to push us and improve ourselves. How can that daunting and often lofty resolution be kept? Below is our Top 10 countdown to keeping resolutions. Follow the steps below to get some achievable ideas—and watch your goals come to fruition.

10. Year after year we set goals that we know we can’t keep; yet we do it anyway. Make sure the resolution is tailored to you. Don’t plan to run the NYC Marathon next year if you can barely run a mile. Maybe start by setting your sights on joining a running club.

9. Make a specific New Year’s resolution that allows you to monitor your success. Although broad resolutions are almost impossible to break, it’s also impossible to measure your improvements.

8. Shorten the intimidating yearlong agenda. Nobody said it had to last all year! Set a short-term goal. It will make the New Year’s resolution more appealing, and there will be no excuse for slacking.

7. Make the reoccurring weight loss regimen reasonable. If you want to join the masses as they flock to the gym, go for it, but be sensible. If you haven’t worked out since the last ice age, you probably won’t have the best outcome if you just go full steam ahead. Start with one or two days a week and see how that goes.

6. Find the right exercise for you. Hitting the treadmill and lifting weights isn’t right for everyone. There are so many different ways to be active. Many people thrive in a classroom setting learning yoga, Pilates, spin or kickboxing. Try out a few options before you choose the right one for you.

5. Make appropriate career improvement goals. As careers become increasingly more competitive, it’s important to keep a leg up on the opposition. Consistently improving is tough, but vital. Some easy ways to stay in your boss’s corner are to stay organized, stay calm and always take the initiative to better your work.

4. Staying on budget with an allowance. Before you cringe at the memories of getting a measly $5 a week from your parents, keep an open mind. Many of us are living paycheck to paycheck, which can be a little tough on self-esteem. So it’s important to make sure that when you pay the bills, you also pay yourself. Giving yourself $20 a week or so to spend makes life a little less stressful, rather than feeling like every time you swipe your card you are spending money you don’t have.

3. Set a goal you can control. People often set goals that rely on the initiative of other people. Don’t set out to win the lottery, get a raise at work or help a loved one lose weight because those resolutions are dependent on others putting in the effort and taking notice. Goals like eating healthy, working out and getting finances in order require only your attention.

2. Kick those nasty habits for good. Smokers unite on New Year’s Eve to recognize their bad habits, vow to quit and then forget the next morning. This is a tough resolution to keep so make sure when you make it you mean it. Create a detailed plan to cut down and hopefully quit smoking altogether. If past techniques have failed, don’t try them again. Review your progress every few months, and alter your plan as needed.

1. Don’t make such daunting resolutions. Be realistic. Simple as that: Be realistic. If you’re making the same resolution every year, maybe it’s time for a new one. Unfortunately, we do not suddenly acquire super powers on New Year’s Eve that allow us to accomplish grand resolutions in the preceding months. Try your best to set a goal you can picture yourself achieving.

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