Making and Keeping Resolutions

After doing some research online, these seem to be the top ten resolutions for year's resolutions

  1. Spend Time With Loved Ones
  2. Becoming more fit
  3. Losing weight
  4. Stop Smoking
  5. Enjoy Life
  6. Quit Drinking
  7. Get out of Debt
  8. Learn Something New
  9. Volunteer
  10. Get organized

Many of us have made resolutions in the past, some we may have kept, but many inevitably fail.  We have good intentions, we want to be better people or live healthier lifestyles. So why is it so hard to make these positive changes stick? Do we expect too much of ourselves?  Are our goals unrealistic?

If you’re making resolutions, here are some tips that may help you keep them in the upcoming year:

  1. Be realistic and concrete.  For instance, don’t just give yourself a goal to “lose woman eating chocolateweight.” Give yourself a specific, attainable goal. Commit to losing 10 pounds. If your goal is to “get organized,” perhaps make a monthly chart of which room you’ll organize that month. If you’re a chocolate lover and you “give up chocolate” you’re setting yourself up for failure. Perhaps you can cut down to one piece a week. If you set realistic goals your resolutions won’t seem so overwhelming and will be easier to maintain.
  2. Limit your resolutions. Don’t spread yourself too thin. Giving up all your bad habits at once is a sure way to fail.
  3. Make a plan. Write down your goals. Decide how you will deal with challenges you might encounter while trying to achieve them and write them out so you’re ready when temptation to skip the gym or have just one cigarette strikes.
  4. Take baby steps. Going on a fad diet, overdoing exercise or dramatically altering your behavior in anyway will wear you out fast and derail your plans. Sure and steady wins the race.
  5. Don’t repeat past mistakes. If you make the same resolution year after year and keep failing at it, take a step back and reevaluate it. What has prevented you from keeping it? What can you do to change your results?
  6. There is a method to your madness. Habits take time to form, and they take time to break. It’s said that it takes 21 days for a new activity to become a habit, and six months for it to become part of your lifestyle. Making positive changes in your life will be more like a journey than a destination. You may reach that goal; it just may take awhile to get there.
  7. Don’t beat yourself up. Setbacks happen. We are human and we are fallible. Don’t let it discourage you or cause you to give up.  Take one day at a time. If you fall, get back up, brush yourself off and move forward.
  8. Get a little help from your friends. A support system can make a big friends walking togetherdifference. Tell family and friends your goals. They can help you stay accountable and motivated. Maybe some of them have the same ambitions or challenges and you can achieve and face those together.
  9. Reward yourself. No, you do not get a bowl of ice cream if you stick to your health plan. Maybe you buy yourself new yoga pants, or treat yourself to a movie. If you’ve volunteered a certain amount of hours, go get a pedicure. You get the idea.
  10. Stay inspired. Make a list of pros and cons of your resolutions and refer to it when you feel like giving up. Keep a journal to record your successes and struggles and read them when you need motivation. If you feel overwhelmed, recommit to just one more day, then another. Keep doing that until you’re back on track. Again, use your support system of friends and family. They can be great motivators.

What are your resolutions for 2014? Resolutions can be difficult to adhere to, but if you keep the above tips in mind, you may be able to stay motivated and achieve your goals. Good luck making positive changes in your life in 2014 and Happy New Year from your friends at MBC.





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