new yearsI will admit it. Like so many who have done a miserable job at keeping my New Year’s resolutions, I am a bit cynical about making them anymore. In the past, I even made a resolution to never make another New Year’s resolution again. But this year, I am making them anyway. Why? Because we make resolutions for a good reason. Because everyone needs a fresh start to being happier and healthier. Because some change will do all of us good. Because I spent some time figuring out why resolutions sound so good at some point, say January 1st ; but by the 25th it is just a list of well-intentioned yet unfilled dreams. By March, it’s all a blur. I can barely remember what I resolved just a few months earlier.

The cycle seemed hopeless … until I decided to change it!

I discovered that the issue was not my resolve to implement healthy habits and positive changes. That part is great! The problem that had to be addressed was accountability and proper planning. With the upcoming year just around the corner, now is just as good a time as any to take stock of your life and the vision you have for the new year. If you love them, hate them, or don’t like to make them, here are some tips to make it work in 2013.

Write It All Down

It helps to write all of this down so it’s harder to just forget and give up. It might also be encouraging to write down why a particular goal is important. For example, if my goal is to quit smoking in 2013, then adding a note next to that goal like “ … because I need to take care of my health,” or “because I don’t want my kids breathing second-hand smoke,” might help.

This way, it is really easy to remember why the resolution was made in the first place. Also, writing a long laundry list of resolutions trying to implement too much change all at once has been ineffective in the past. I suggest keeping the list short.

Make a List, Check it Twice

As much as I love making a good long list, it is much easier to keep track of. My goals fit into four major categories: Food, Health, Self-Care, and Finance. See what categories your goals fit into.

Creating my resolutions this way, I noticed how some of my goals really complement one another. It has actually made it easier for me to imagine sticking with them and making the necessary changes in my life.

Fresh Start vs. Evergreen

Do you have a goal for a 30 day resolution, or a 365 day resolution? Make it clear from the beginning. Identify which goals are short-term, just to kick start the New Year like eating a raw for a month, and which goals are long-term where it will be a guideline all year around like daily or weekly exercise.

Provide a timeline or a deadline for each individual resolution. This way, the expectations are really clear.

What’s good?

Check in with yourself and schedule a monthly check in meeting. 365 days is a long time between check in meetings about resolutions. I am resolving to have a meeting at the beginning of each month where I can check in with my goals, celebrate my success stories, and identify items that need some work.

Determine which goals need to be monitored. Checking in on my resolutions each month means that you will never get too far away from them to forget them.

Plus, I can adjust my goals as needed so that I can truly incorporate them into my everyday life, not be an annual meaningless practice. Don’t forget that resolutions can be fun. Have fun by incorporating weekly themes like Meatless Mondays, Fresh Food Fridays, or Something New Saturdays.

So, whether you hate to love them or love to break them, it’s a new year for the resolution and a new year to make the changes you need in your life.

What healthy resolution will you make for next year?

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