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Keeping Your Resolutions
Lots of people make resolutions in the new year. Many of these resolutions have to do with spending less and saving more. Others have to do with losing weight or some other kind of behavior change. And while most resolutions are launched with the best of intentions, many falter not very much later.
Forbes has some suggestions for helping you achieve success with your resolutions, whatever they are:
Clearly define what you want to achieve. Don’t say, for example, “I want to save more money” or “I want to lose weight.” Instead, say, “I want to cut my spending by 10 percent” or “I want to lose 10 pounds.” After all, if you don’t know exactly what your goal is, how will you know when you meet it?
Keep track of how you are doing. Some goals are easy to measure – you can look at your bank account each month, or weigh yourself regularly. Some are less easy to measure. But whatever your goal is, find a way in which you can measure your progress toward it.
Be patient. As they say, Rome wasn’t built in a day. Understand that achieving any worthwhile goal takes time, because you are re-training yourself in some way. And your progress toward that goal is unlikely to be steady. Sometimes you may make quick progress, and other times you will slow down.
Tell people about your goal. This allows them to know why you might not be doing things you used to do. For example, if you are trying to save money, you probably won’t go out to eat as often. But it also makes you accountable in some way to the people in your life. If you tell people you are trying to eat healthier, you might find yourself embarrassed to chow down on fries in their presence.
Schedule it. If you want to work out more, schedule time for a run or to go to the gym. If you want to save money, schedule time to go over your spending on a regular basis. Putting something into your schedule makes it harder to put it off.
Know that doing something is better than doing nothing If you splurge on your budget or your diet, don’t just throw in the towel. For example, if you buy an expensive sweater, don’t decide that, since you already have blown your budget, you might as well buy some shoes you can’t afford. Obviously it is best not to buy the sweater, but you should give yourself credit for not buying the shoes.
Don’t give up. Everyone who is trying to change a behavior slips up from time to time. But the people who manage to succeed at change don’t quit when they mess up. They take a breath and start over again -- as many times as it takes.