Posted on Jan 18, 2012 @[email protected]

What Have You Resolved To Do This New Year?

2012 is here and hopefully off to a great start.  Many of us are simply hoping 2012 is easier to handle than 2011.  Everybody has an opinion about New Year’s resolutions some view them with disdain and ridicule and others view them as the perfect opportunity to start anew.  For those in the latter group there are some tips and tricks to help you reach your goals and stick to your laurels especially if you’ve decided to commit to one of the more popular resolutions.

When deciding on a New Year’s Resolution there a few key tips to keep in mind:

  • Set a reasonable goal.  If you set a goal to wake up at 5 a.m. to exercise every single morning and you are not a morning person you are setting yourself up for failure.  Consider what you’re capable of committing to and make that a goal.  The more likely you are to be able to set a pattern the less likely that you’ll renege on your commitment.
  • Stick with one goal, it’s extremely difficult to carry out one resolution, if you aim to change too many things you’re likely to get overwhelmed and give up all together.  Focus on one thing and put all of your determination towards it.
  • Assuming it’s not too personal in nature, tell the people who are a part of your daily life about your goal.  They may have advice for helping you stick to your goal and you’ll have the added pressure of knowing others are watching you if you slip.
  • Set up a rewards system.  When you overcome a hurdle give yourself a reward, if you’ve decided to diet allow yourself to spring for dessert after a few weeks of healthy eating, if you’ve decided to cut your spending work an exciting purchase into your newly formed budget.
  • If January 1st doesn’t work well for you set a date that does, if you’ve resolved to start running then perhaps you should try starting in the spring that way by the time winter comes you’ll have whipped yourself back into shape and will be more willing to deal with the bleak weather.

The most common New Year’s Resolution is unsurprisingly to get fit.  This is of course an admirable goal, few things can positively impact your life the way getting in shape can, it’s also one of the most difficult resolutions to keep.  Do your research when it comes to choosing a gym or piece of at home equipment, it’s important that you feel comfortable and safe in the environment you choose.  You’ll also want to create a schedule and stick to, one way to do this is to hire a personal trainer or enlist the help of a workout buddy.

Another popular resolution is to improve your diet.  This is of course another difficult task, unhealthy food is addictive and pleasurable.  Instead of creating a strict diet try simply choosing healthier options.  When grocery shopping choose healthier snack alternatives and when eating out try springing for a fresh dish as opposed to a highly processed item.  Resolve to eat more whole grains, fruits and veggies and you’ll naturally consume less fats and simple carbohydrates.

The third most popular New Year’s Resolution is to save money.  In this tough economy it’s more important than ever to set-up rainy day and retirement funds.  A good one to do this is to set up pools of money for specific things, a certain amount of money for vacation, a certain amount for retirement and a certain amount for fun purchases such as clothing.  Experts also suggest you only use your credit card for installment debt such as furniture, and other big yet necessary expenditures and using your debit card for smaller purchases such as lunch or gas.

Another popular resolution is to volunteer.  This is a great goal it gives you the opportunity to enrich your own life by helping to enrich the lives of others.  If you decide to take this route decide ahead of time on a specific organization you want to get involved with and get in touch with them.  In making your decision you should think about what you are passionate about and choose an organization which is related to said passion.  If you’re nervous about feeling out of place perhaps you should enlist a friend to get involved with you.

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