Get organized: Make New Year’s resolutions that stick

New Year’s resolutions have a tendency to be made with enthusiasm and determination. Unfortunately, very often they’re forgotten by the time February rolls around. Here are a few simple ways to make New Year’s resolutions that stick and help you accomplish your goals.

THINK SHORT TERM

For most people, making a resolution for the entire year is way too difficult. Instead, make your resolutions once per month; January resolutions, February resolutions, etc. They’re much easier to achieve and the accomplishments can be celebrated sooner. Plus, if you don’t quite reach what you want to accomplish in any given month, you can simply move that resolution into the next month–no more feeling so guilty that you have to wait an entire year to start over again!

FOCUS ON A FEW

It’s nearly impossible to do everything you’ve always wanted to do in a short period of time. To be sure you don’t forget about the goals you’d like to accomplish, write them all down on a Master Goals List. Then, each month throughout the year, focus on the one or two that are most important to you. You won’t get overwhelmed and you’ll be amazed at what you can accomplish.

MAKE YOUR RESOLUTIONS S-M-A-R-T AND SPECIFIC:

Your resolutions must be specific. For instance, saying that you’d like to spend more time with your kids in the New Year is too general. However, saying that you vow to spend 1 hour of quality time with your kids each Friday and Wednesday, immediately following dinner, is very concrete and specific.

MEASURABLE:

Resolutions that are worked on and achieved are those that can be measured and tracked. When you think of making a resolution, think in terms of numbers. Perhaps you’d like to lose weight. Thinking in numbers, you might state that you’d like to lose 5 pounds–1 pound per month for the next 5 months. Or possibly you’d like to go on a short vacation. Thinking in numbers, you may state that you’d like to save $100 per month, so you can go on a bed and breakfast weekend in June.

ATTAINABLE:

You can certainly make challenging resolutions, but don’t make them so difficult that they’re going to be almost impossible to achieve. You can always break your resolution down into smaller goals. For instance, if you’d like to put aside $50 per month, make a resolution to set aside $12.50 per week.

REALISTIC:

You might want to be a pro golfer this year, but if you haven’t even started training yet, then this resolution is going to be unrealistic and unattainable. Instead, set more realistic goals, such as taking a few basic golf lessons or playing golf once per week on Tuesdays for practice.

TIMELY:

The word ‘someday’ is indefinite. Yet, often people say they have so many things they’d like to accomplish … someday. Resolutions with no start or end date in mind never get accomplished. Be sure all of your resolutions have both a deadline, and a starting date. For example, you might say you’d like to change your job. Your deadline might be March, 2011, and your start date might be next week–determining what you’d like to do, seeking available positions, etc.

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