About forty percent of all Americans will vow to change one thing or another about themselves this New Year. Often these goals and resolutions are never met. In fact, sixty percent of all individuals will have completely forgotten about the resolutions they have made within six months.

New Year’s resolutions usually fall under the following categories:

• Weight loss
• Finance
• Career
• Personal development
• Health and diet
• Fitness
• Stress management
• Focusing on personal relationships

Carrying out your resolutions and goals can be accomplished. Read on to find out how.

1. Define your Motivation

There are 2 types of motivation:
• Intrinsic – this means your motivation comes from inside. For example, U prefer jogging, going to the gym, or shopping by yourself. The motivation for follow through comes from within and U are comfortable and motivated to accomplish your goal without the assistance of anyone but yourself. Just doing and participating is reward enough.

• Extrinsic – you’re motivated by actions outside your personal scope. The reward system is external. Accomplishing the goal may be more difficult without having someone by your side you help motivate U. U may also find U are in need of an external motivator such as a reward when you achieve your goal.

Once U figure out your motivation type, then all U have to do is put yourself in situations that make U more comfortable and excited to accomplish your goals.

2. Actions speak louder than results

Deciding on a goal for the New Year is always easier said than done. However, it’s the steps you take to reach that goal that are sometimes trickier. If you want to stick to your resolutions, it’s wise to break each step down into smaller goals to make them more manageable.

Finally, each time you achieve a step towards your goal, reward yourself and feel proud of what you’ve accomplished. Positive reinforcement is crucial to help guide U as you push towards your goal and commit to your responsibilities.

One way to keep everything in check is to make sure your goal setting and steps towards reaching your golas are S.M.A.R.T.:

• Specific – having a specific end result prevents you from making excuses.
• Measurable – evaluating your progress will give your motivation a boost.
• Achievable – U can set daily goals as a building block to bigger goals.
• Relevant – if it’s not relevant, why bother?
• Time-bound – goals need to have a defined end date.

3. Be Honest with Yourself

The more realistic your resolutions, the more likely you’ll see them through. If your goal for the New Year is to exercise more, then start small. Instead of planning a 5-day workout week, go for twenty minutes each day then increase gradually.

You’ll find, as with all goals, as soon as U start seeing what you’ve accomplished, you’ll be pumped to do even more. However, it’s crucial that U stay away from the “all-or-nothing” approach. Doing something, even if it’s a small piece of what you’d originally planned, is much better and more productive than doing nothing at all. Acknowledge your accomplishments, no matter how small, as U move towards reaching your resolution.

Moreover, it’s equally important to not have too many resolutions up in the air at once. Make a list, prioritize them, and go from there. Once U feel the first one’s in the bag, go for the second, and so on. Focusing on one goal at a time will channel your energy and efforts, helping U reach your target faster.

4. Think things through

Having a positive mindset is key when progressing towards your goals. However, let’s be honest; every plan is bound for failure if you’re not careful. Be smart and anticipate obstacles so that when they do appear, you’ll be prepared.

For example, if U get bored when you exercise, choose upbeat workout music that’ll get you revved up. Or U can workout at home, as you catch up on your favorite TV shows. If your motivation method is extrinsic, go to the gym with a friend. The idea is to nip obstacles in the bud before they becomes stronger than your willpower so that U can surmount any roadblock that comes between U and your goal.

5. Be accountable for your actions

Accountability means you’re taking responsibility for the choices you’re making. This may seem easy to do at work when U have a deadline and a boss reinforcing it. It may not seem as easy when you’re home alone and skip out on cooking a healthy meal, and order take-out instead.

  • You can enlist the help of a friend or join a support group to insure commitment and follow through towards meeting your goals. By enlisting the help of someone else, you are not only accountable to yourself but to another person.
  • Hang a calendar on your wall with progress notes so U can keep tabs how far you’ve gotten and what still lies ahead.

Keeping your New Year’s resolution may seem difficult to accomplish.  However, applying these 5 steps, U will be more apt to stick to your goals. Once U accomplish your first resolution, you’ll be more apt to continue to set new goals for yourself and move towards balance and fulfillment.

“You are not creating a new you; you are releasing a hidden you. The process is one of self-discovery. The hidden you that wants to emerge is in perfect balance.” -Deepak Chopra, MD.

“If you are not where you want to be, do not quit, instead reinvent yourself and change your habits.” – Eric Thomas