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How to make a New Year resolution

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As the chimes ring at midnight on New Years Eve will you be resolving to make some changes to your life? And do you hope that resolve will last past January 2nd? If you are serious about making some changes to your life, here is how to make New Year resolutions that will be with you still at next New Years Eve.
What you'll need: 
A notebook for your New Year Resolutions
A pen
Time to plan
Start by writing down 4 or 5 resolutions as they come to you such as lose weight, get fitter, watch less television, cut down drinking, change your job etc.
Take each one and visualise in six months time when you have achieved your goal. Imagine the difference keeping your resolution will make to you, your life and how you feel about yourself. Which of the resolutions is most important to you? Just choose one or two. These are the ones you will work on and plan for.
Write down why these resolutions are important to you, using what you have visualised. It is important to work at only one or two resolutions. You can come back to the others next year!
Make your resolution SMART (Specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time based). So for example if you want to lose weight you need to say eg two stone by August, if getting fitter run one mile in eight minutes by April.
Plan in small steps, day by day, how you will achieve your target. If you are losing weight and/ or getting fitter, plan your meals and / or exercise each day. Write your plan in the notebook and leave space to record what you achieve.
Keep it realistic. If you have failed to lose weight on the past, ask yourself what went wrong and try to ensure you don't repeat the same mistake.
Be prepared for some set backs along the way - and plan for how you will deal with them. If you break your diet, one day for example, you can get back on track the next day. If you miss an exercise class, make up for it with an extra walk next day. Stay positive.
Plan to reward yourself. Perhaps an item of clothing when you lose seven pounds, a special treat when you can run half a mile. If you are giving up smoking, spend some of the money you have saved on a special treat.
Tell people what you are planning and ask them to support you. If other people encourage you it will help you to keep going.
Don't expect too much of yourself and be prepared to modify your plan as you go along. It is better to achieve some of your goal (may be one stone by August) than to give up all together.
By planning and working at it, you can be successful in your New Years resolution - and think how pleased you will be at next New Year when you can begin working on another goal.
Don't see a set back as a complete failure, tomorrow is another day.
Congratulate yourself on every small step towards success.
Re read regularly the reasons why you are doing this.
Failing to plan is planning to fail.


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