Ten Tips For Setting (and Keeping) Life Changing Resolutions
Ten Tips For Setting (And Keeping) Life Changing Resolutions
It's time for that annual ritual of making (and breaking) our
New Year's resolutions. There is something about the idea of
being able to start over that motivates us to pause (at least
briefly) and reflect on our lives as they are, as well as how we
would like them to be. Yet how many times have you thought back
to last year's goals and found that many or most of them were
abandoned or just forgotten after a few months into the year?
Many of us have difficulty following through on our resolutions
due to factors such as choosing unrealistic goals, not making
them challenging enough and/or lacking the necessary motivation
to stick with them.
The following tips should help put you on the right course and
assist you in staying committed to your most important goals for
1. Start with a life vision
If you don't know what you want your future to look like, how
can you decide what areas of your life need to be worked on?
Spend some quiet time TODAY reflecting on (and writing down)
what is good, bad or incomplete. Then try to "see" your life if
all of these areas were addressed and had become satisfactory to
2. Get organized
Clear away clutter. Go through paperwork, files, old bills and
receipts, closets, drawers and storage containers. Decide what
you need and will use and either throw out or give away all the
rest. Put aside some time each week for this purpose. Focus on
one area (or box) at a time until you are finished. Having
available file drawer space, trash bags, file folders and pens
handy will speed things along. Try not to handle any thing more
than once. Make a decision and act on it immediately. After you
have cleaned out you can think about your existing systems for
management and storage and see if these need reworking or just
some fine-tuning. Make sure you use ONE calendar to record
everything. Otherwise you will either overbook, miss
appointments and events or just waste a lot of time trying to
constantly go back, re-do and sort out your schedule.
3.Expand your horizons and make a commitment to learning
Challenging yourself will infuse you with greater energy and
sense of purpose. It will help build your self-esteem to realize
you are capable of more than you had previously believed. This
new learning can also give you additional resources to assist
you in your career, personal or love life.
4. Set challenging but realistic resolutions
Choose goals that stretch your ability muscles, yet are
realistic and therefore less vulnerable to failure. Don't
respond to that negative inner voice that says; "oh, I'm not
capable of that". Instead, focus on what you truly desire for
your life and relationships and let this be your guide.
5. Write down your resolutions
Write them down and stick them on your bathroom mirror, your
fridge, your car dashboard, your desk or wherever you know will
be a good place for you to see them. You can also show them to a
good friend, family member, your coach or anyone who could
provide support and encouragement.
6. Create action steps for each resolution; write these down,
and keep an accounting of your progress for each.
A resolution without planned action is doomed to failure. Break
each goal down into small action steps or objectives. Putting a
date for completion will help ensure you follow through. Come up
with an accountability system that will work for you. Make sure
you check off each accomplishment as you go and be flexible and
willing to make adjustments in your action steps in order to
achieve your desired end results.
7. Take care of yourself; eat well, exercise regularly and learn
to control and eliminate unhealthy stress.
I know this is an obvious one, so why is it often ignored or
overlooked when we are attempting to make important life
changes? How many times have you said, "I don't have the time"
to eat right, exercise, sleep, etc.? Not caring for yourself
will guarantee failure. So, why not make this your first and
most important resolution for 2006?
8. Work to eliminate bad habits
Including this as a New Year's resolution would put you on the
road to good follow-through. Bad habits will sabotage your
efforts and use up your limited resources of time, energy and
focus. For each bad habit you decide to eliminate, have a good
habit in mind to replace it with.
9. Set appropriate and healthy limits in all areas of your life
Knowing your limits and enforcing them with yourself and others
is a prerequisite to a healthy life and relationships. Learn to
say "no" and "enough" and be firm in your resolve that this is a
good thing to do. Otherwise, you will also be undermining your
resolution to take care of yourself.
10. Work to be the kind of person you want to be with
Bringing out the best qualities in yourself will help to ensure
that you attract people of good quality into your life. You
wouldn't want to compromise on the standards you have set for a
potential mate. Therefore, it's important to understand that
this also holds true for other people in search of relationships.
Toni Coleman, LCSW Help Singles Create Lasting Relationships