Keeping your resolutions

Whether you want to lose weight, stop smoking or save money in 2010, setting achievable goals will ultimately determine your success. But there are a few tips you can follow to make the journey a little easier.

· Be specific – don’t set vague goals such as losing weight or getting fit. Specify how you’re going to do it. For example, “I’m going to lose weight be reducing my calorie intake to 1000 calories per day” or “I’m going to get fit by swimming three times per week”. Write your goals somewhere you will see them every day.

· Make your goals measurable – don’t just say you want to save money, say how much you want to save and by when.

· Be realistic – if you find it hard to walk to the end of the street, don’t plan on running a marathon by the end of the year! Set yourself small goals and when you achieve these, aim a bit higher.

· Ask yourself if your goal is relevant – do you want to lose weight or do you just want to be a bit healthier and look better? If you’re happy with your overall weight then maybe you just need to examine your eating habits or spruce yourself up a little.

· Set timelines – no deadline means nothing to work towards.

Knowing yourself is also important to how you go about achieving your goals. If you smoke 40 cigarettes each day then cutting them out all together will be difficult and you’ll be more likely to fail. Aim to cut down first and gradually move to stopping all together.

Taking simple steps will offer you more chance of success. The people whose inspirational stories you read all have something in common, they started slow and easy. If they ran a marathon, they started by walking a little further each day and, if they lost a lot of weight, they would have started by cutting down on food. No-one wakes up one day and just starts running or eating correctly – it takes time and preparation.

Keeping a record of your progress and achievements will spur you on to do better. Don’t ignore your failures but don’t dwell on them either – pick yourself up and try a little harder.

Enlist the support of others around you. If you have friends who share the same goals, you can coax each other on. Tell others what you are doing – when people ask about your progress, you’ll want to have something positive to report.

Inspired to make a resolution for the New Year? Why not share with other YOURLifeChoices subscribers?

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