New Years Resolutions

Written by Jeremy Horelick
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Who hasn't made New Years resolutions to stop smoking, lose weight, or make more money in the coming year? The new year lets us wipe the proverbial slate clean and start afresh by recreating ourselves in the light we wish to be seen in, both by ourselves and by others. Even those who are relatively secure in who they are fashion all sorts of new goals for the coming calendar year each and every December.

Much to the chagrin of tobacco companies, quitting smoking remains the number one goal (alongside losing weight). Still, it seems Phillip Morris and company enjoy the last laugh each year as the overwhelming majority of people soon cave on their promises. It's not uncommon for the "committed" to fall off the wagon as early as February or, frequently enough, mid-January.

Ways to Keep Your New Years Resolutions

Experts agree on a few key tips for helping people keep their New Years resolutions. One of these is to write them down. By leaving your goals in your head where only you can assess them (and your progress toward them), you create too many potential escape clauses. Let your partner, friends, or family members in on your New Years resolutions to increase the odds that you'll stick by them.

Second, choose goals that are attainable. This means picking resolutions that are incremental in nature. If you're smoking three packs a day, don't try to give up cold turkey; you won't. Instead, cut down to two packs a day by spring, a pack a day by summer or fall, or create a timetable of your own. And if it's more money you're searching for, give up on the pipe dream of cash contests and other sweepstakes. Rather, try putting aside a fixed percentage of your weekly paycheck--even if it's only five percent--on a regular basis.

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