Make Resolutions that Make a Difference This Year

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It’s that time of the year again.  The old year is ending and the new one will begin soon and that makes us think about our goals for the next year.  What do we want to accomplish?  How will we move ahead?  What is most important to us?  It is a great opportunity but it can also be very frustrating if we feel that our goals are beyond our reach.

Here are some tips for making resolutions that can make a difference in the new year:

Consider Who the Resolutions are For

Sometimes we forget to think about what is really important to us and we start making goals based on what other people think we should do.  So ask yourself if you are making your resolutions for yourself, because you want to, or for others because they think you should.  If your resolutions are going to reach completion during the year and you are going to be able to stay committed to them, they have to be something that YOU want.

Determine Your Goals Realistically

If you set goals that are just next to impossible, you’re going to give up on them easily and before they even have a chance of being met.  Consider whether or not you have the resources that you need at  your disposal in order to meet your goals.  Consider your health and the stress levels that you might have to undergo to meet your goals.  Consider what you might have to give up.  Will you need to spend a lot of time away from your family and friends? If so, how will they react to that?

Have a Plan to Get Back On Track

Everyone falls off the path once in awhile so to expect that you will head straight on to meet your goal without any slip ups is unrealistic.  They key to reaching your goal is to have a plan for when you do slip.  Just because your path has altered does not mean you can’t still reach your goal.  An accountability partner can help you get going in the right direction again.

Plan Some Rewards

Meeting a big goal is an accomplishment and you should reward yourself when you do.  Make the reward something you really want like a cruise or new living room furniture.  If you miss your goal within the year, remember that you can still give yourself your reward in the next year if you complete the goal.

Penalties Can Be Motivational, Too

If your goal is to make an extra $5000 in the next year set a penalty for every $1 or every $100 that you don’t make.  Obviously, it can’t be a monetary penalty but it could be a penalty that has benefits to someone else, like you could donate an hour of your time to a charity chosen by friends and family for every $100 that you are off.  Some people find it motivational to have to donate time to something that they DON’T support.

Remember that resolutions are supposed to be there to help you better your life and they are meant to be something you want to do.  Choose a couple well selected resolutions and plan to succeed and you will be more likely to accomplish great things in 2012!