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How to Stick to Your New Year Resolutions

Don’t make and break New Year resolutions. It’s not that tough to see them through…

As the New year draws closer and closer, we enthusiastic souls sit down and write out, or call up friends and talk about, or accost strangers at parties and boast about…our New Year resolutions! We feel inspired, empowered and optimistic as the New Year beckons with its promises of renewal and rebirth and feel this is the chance to stop all those health-threatening habits or be able to get into that tight pair of jeans that lie languishing in one corner of the cupboard or get to work on time… On January 1st, we wake up (many of us terribly hungover!) and groan about those self-same resolutions. The intentions are there, the heart is willing but the body or the mind just ain’t! So, how do we go about keeping those lofty promises we make to all and sundry and ourselves?

The main problem – we set ourselves too many out-of-reach goals or these really tough resolutions. Net result – we can’t keep them! Most of us don’t have a clue as to how to make a practical, realistic resolution, which is why most of us fail to keep the ones we make.

So, read on for some helpful tips.

Don’t overwhelm yourself: For some strange reason, we believe that overnight we can stop not one, but a whole horde of bad habits that we’ve accumulated over the year. We sit down, pen in hand and put down a list of resolutions, and come February 1st, we are back to square one! The trick lies in making a few choice resolutions – one, may be two and max three. Your chances of sticking to a few resolutions are far higher than a laundry list of impossible goals!

Write it down: Write down your resolution and your plan of action. Stick it up on the fridge, on your soft board, your cupboard or your mirror. This way, you are constantly reminded about your goal.

Word it carefully. Let’s say your resolution is to make more time for yourself by taking it a little easier on the work front. If you write down ‘I will spend time at home’, it ends up sounding like an order or a must-do and defeats the very purpose of the resolution – which is to relax at home with your family! Instead word it as “I love spending time with my family and hope to have some great times with them this year.’

Planning is the key: Giving up bad habits or inculcating new ones can be tough. Let’s say you’ve decided to start meditating. How do you go about it? First explore different types of meditation, lust the techniques that interest you, either learn about it or go for classes.  Factor in time on a daily basis to fit in this new schedule. If you find one particular technique is not working for you, give it up and move onto another till you find one that suits you.

Don’t succumb to external pressure: Your mom, dad, brother, sister, significant other, etc may pressurize you to stop or start something and you reluctantly agree. Well, it doesn’t work that way. Unless you are sufficiently motivated, no one can force you to do something. By agreeing to external demands, you only add stress to your life.

And finally, if you find you have broken your resolutions, don’t lose heart. Remember, you are not alone. And, the best thing of all, there’s another New year, 365 days away. You can start afresh then. Cheers!

The Top 10 Most Common New Year Resolutions

  1. Lose weight
  2. Stop smoking
  3. Watch those pennies
  4. Save or earn more money
  5. Find a better job
  6. Become more organized
  7. Exercise more
  8. Be more patient at work/with others
  9. Eat healthier
  10. Become a better person.

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Dogs, books, music…that’s what makes life tick for me. And of course, writing. I’ve been writing for 17 years now and have enjoyed every bit of it. My idea of a great time – blast some music, cuddle my pets and gorge on pizza. Or curl up in a cozy corner with a good book. That’s bliss. And now, I’ve discovered a new bliss – yoga. Maybe, I’ll turn spiritual some day with a halo around my head! On a more serious note, I’m actively involved in animal welfare and saving abandoned dogs. I firmly believe dogs are much better than most human beings. In addition, I champion the cause of making our planet a better place. And do my bit in whatever way I can, and urge everyone to do the same.