New Year, New Life: Keeping Your Resolutions in 2013

The New Year is upon us, and that means a new list of goals to accomplish. Although New Year’s resolutions can seem outdated and cheesy most people secretly make them and they can be a great way to start the year.  If the resolution list you made last year is yellowing in your bottom bedside drawer, it’s time to toss it out and start fresh.

To accomplishing your goals there are a few things you can do to get a good start:

Make a detailed list!  A “Top 3 Resolutions” list makes you feel good when you’re writing out your goals, but once the ink has dried you’re still responsible for putting a plan in motion. That’s why making a detailed plan of your goals can be a great starting point.

For example, if your plan is to save $10,000 over the course of the year, make a budget that details how much money you need to put aside each pay cycle to reach that goal.

If your goal is to lose 15 pounds, write out an exercise and eating plan to get you accustomed to a healthier lifestyle, but make sure it is realistic or you won’t be able to stick with it.

I have one friend, Tracy, who is running a mile a day up to 5 miles – when she reaches 5 miles she will start back to one mile again so she doesn’t get burned out.  Lori, another friend of mine is committed to running a 5 or 10K every month with training in between to reach her lifestyle goals. If you keep your goals doable you are much more likely to attain them!

Start slowly!  Jumping in too quickly can lead to disappointment when you don’t get the immediate results you want. Instead of trying to accomplish your goals all at once, set benchmarks each week, month or few months to make sure you’re on pace without overwhelming yourself. Making improvements to your life is a long-term process, so avoid rushing too quickly into changes.

Find a friend!  Call it camaraderie, motivation or competition, but working toward your goals with a friend can help keep you in step when you’re tired, discouraged, or ready to give up.

If your goal is to live a healthier lifestyle set workout dates with a group of friends and swap your healthiest recipes. If you want to pay off debt or save money consult with a friend about new activities that are free or cost-efficient.

Reward yourself! Working tirelessly toward a goal can have great payoffs in the end, but everyone is subject to days of discouragement where you want to give up. You can avoid these feelings by rewarding yourself after reaching the benchmarks you’ve set for yourself.

So get started and good luck!