Tuesday, January 3, 2012

4 Tips On How To Keep Your New Year's Resolutions

New Year's is an excellent time to set new goals. Many of us strive to pay off debt, lose weight, eat better or a myriad of other goals, but it's so easy to fail and end up right back where we started. Here's a guide to turning your New Year's Resolutions into achievable goals:

1. Be realistic.
It's great to be optimistic with your New Year's resolutions, but don't be idealistic. If you've got less than $1,000 in the bank and bad credit, this year is not the year to strive to become a homeowner. Instead, focus on what you can realistically achieve in a year. Maybe you can pay off your old debts to improve your credit, double your savings, or open some investment accounts. To test the viability of your resolutions, try to break them down into 12 individual steps, one for each month. For example, adding an extra $2,000 to your savings account would require putting away around $166 each month. Looking at your resolutions this way has the added advantage of making them more manageable.

2. Plan ahead.
If you want to pad your savings in the New Year, sit down now and lay out a budget. If you want to lose weight, research your chosen methods, sign up for a gym membership, or whatever needs to be done so you can hit the ground running on January 1st. If you've got downtime during or after the holidays, take advantage of it to sit down and write out your battle plan. Writing your plan down will help keep it forefront in your mind and can tell you if you're trying to achieve too much. There's no rule saying you can only have one New Year's resolution, but don't try to achieve too much or you'll risk getting overwhelmed.

3. Work with a friend.
Humans are social creatures. Working together on your New Year's resolutions can help you stay motivated, on track, and in perspective. If you have a local friend that you can head to the gym with or commiserate with while giving up smoking, excellent. If not, look for support groups in your area or online. When looking for a resolution buddy, try to pair up with someone working on the same or similar goals. You'll understand each other better and be able to more genuinely share your interests, ideas, failures and achievements.

4. Keep track of your progress.
It may seem childish, but everyone responds well to the proverbial gold star. After you've broken your resolution down into monthly, weekly or daily goals and then achieved them, reward yourself for your hard work. Just don't make your reward something that's going to set you back, however. If you're trying to lose weight, don't go out to eat, and if you're trying to save money, don't go on a shopping spree. It seems like a no-brainer, but it can be incredibly easy to get caught up in the excitement of completing a goal and forget your common sense.

With these tips in mind, you can have a successful 2012. Make your New Year's resolutions and be confident that you can and will complete them!

Nicole Rodgers has been blogging in the fitness, business, and technology industries for three years. Last year Nicole set a resolution to start eating well to lose weight. She decided to also buy workout equipment to help her with her weight loss goals. She made sure to check for a sale after Christmas for her work out equipment.

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