12.30.2008

Set Your New Year's Resolutions Up for Success

Now is the time of year when everyone is setting New Year's resolutions. From weight loss to stressing less to stop biting your nails, about 45 percent of the U.S. population sets at least one goal for the New Year. Sadly though, only about 4 percent of those people make it to the six-month mark. Don't get discouraged though! There is hope. Below are five steps to making sure that your New Year's resolutions stick through 2009 and beyond.

Set Your New Year's Resolutions Up for Success
1. Be realistic. Rome wasn't built in a day, so don't expect yourself to change overnight. Set goals that are challenging but within your reach. For example, if you hate to run, running a marathon in 2009, probably isn't a great goal. But, if you like to swim but can't find the time, set a goal to wake up 30 minutes earlier three days a week to hit the pool.

2. Have a plan. Without a plan, it's easy to get off track when the first temptation strikes or your will power wanes. Take a few minutes to sit down and map out exactly how you'll get to your goal. Which leads us to...

3. Start small. Set small goals first and build from there. If you want to declutter your home for instance, start with a junk drawer or cabinet a few times a week. After a few weeks of that, tackle a closet. Remember, small and steady wins the race!

4. Be patient. Experts say that it takes at least 30 days to start a new habit, so don't expect to cultivate a love for broccoli in a day if you've abhorred the stuff since first grade. Be consistent and stick with it, and eventually your resolution will become second nature.

5. Be supported. Don't be shy about telling your family and friends about your goals. In fact, ask them for their support. You never know; you just might get a morning workout buddy out of it.

Are you setting resolutions for 2009? If so, what are they?

Photo by Ju-x on Flickr.