Steps to Achieving Your New Year’s Resolutions

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New Year’s resolutions should be a topic people love to discuss. Ideally, we could all trade stories about how each New Year came with personal improvements in our lives. Smoking? Quit! Weight? Lost! That thing we’ve always meant to do? We finally did it! And yet, the reality is that we all probably have more memories of resolutions going unfulfilled. Here are few ways you can help turn those faraway dreams into reality.

It is crucial to set realistic goals. By aiming impossibly high, you set yourself up for falling short and feeling demoralized. But if your resolutions are modest, realistic, and achievable, then you can build a foundation of success to improve upon over the ensuing 12 months. Even the loftiest ambitions must be approached in an incremental fashion.

Don’t spread yourself thin with too many resolutions. There’s a proverb that states, “The dog that chases two rabbits loses them both.” Your chances of succeeding are much greater if you pick one resolution and focus on making progress, rather than trying accomplish everything.

Be vocal about your resolution! Tell friends and loved ones about your plan to make improvements. If you’re wary of telling them, turn to online communities through social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, or website forums. Most of us feel hesitant to share resolutions out of fear we’ll fall short of expectations, and our failure seldom needs an audience. But you can turn that fear on its head by involving people in your life who want you to succeed and will help you along the way. After making some progress toward your goals, you’ll find that sharing your success becomes a powerful motivator in accomplishing all your goals, big or small.

And maybe the most important thing to understand is this: January 1st is just another day. Your calendar may start in January, but your plan to quit smoking or fit into your college jeans can start any day you please.