Resolve to win – 7 steps for conquering your resolutions

Summary: Post covers tips on how to set and achieve your New Year’s resolutions.

New Beginnings

Photo by my sister, Fatimeh Nadimi

As the year draws to an end, many of us are savoring the amazing changes our New Year’s resolutions will bring in 2012. We’ll be skinnier, healthier, smarter, and richer. That is, if we can stick to the plan. One only needs to visit any gym in the first week of January and then again in February to see that many of us don’t keep our own promises.

I love the idea of creating New Year resolutions – we consciously agree to make ourselves better and make changes. Make this year different – follow these instructions, keep your resolution, and watch the magic happen!

  1. Be realistic. If you’ve never worked out a day in your life, don’t resolve to run a marathon. Start with a 5K, and build up.
  2. Visualize. Use your imagination to see what achieving your goal will look and feel like. If your goal is to eat healthy; visualize your meals, fridge, and pantry contents. Plan what choices you will make when going out to eat or when invited to potlucks. Imagine how excited you will be when your waistline starts shrinking and clothes become too big. Plot for success.
  3. Create a supportive environment. By that I mean not only getting your friends and family on board with your goal and ignoring the naysayers and those who sabotage your plans, but also make your surroundings “resolution-friendly” – throw out the junk food, pack your workout clothes in advance, and block time in your daily schedule to dedicate to your goal.
  4. Team up to win! Try to find someone that is successfully doing what you’ve resolved to do and ask them if you can team up. The support you get from others can get you started or keep you going when you are ready to give up. Can’t find your partner in crime? Post your goal and status updates on any social media. The support you will (hopefully) get from your friends as well as the feeling of responsibility can be just the extra fuel you need. People helping people… it’s powerful stuff.
  5. Be easy on yourself. So what if you slip up on cheat on your diet? Don’t turn a bad day into a bad week. Get back on it the next day, but don’t allow yourself to justify your fails, “It’s ok to eat this WHOLE cake because it’s my friend’s cousin’s daughter’s birthday.” That’s bullshit. The only person you’re hurting is yourself, but you knew that already. As Oliver Goldsmith said, “Success consists of getting up just one more time than you fall.”
  6. Be Patient. “Difficult things take a long time, impossible things a little longer” (André A. Jackson)
  7. Don’t complain and have fun! You’re on your way to something great – that thought should be enough to keep you going. Stay the course.

Losing sucks. Give yourself a break, set goals that you can achieve and build upon, and watch your enemies turn green with envy. Happy New Beginnings!

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