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2010 is this close to being over and 2011 is ready to make its grand entrance.

When the clock strikes Midnight, millions of people will be looking forward to the coming year to make some changes in their lives. Whether we call them “goals” or “resolutions,” they each signal our willingness to improve our lives for the New Year.

Despite our best efforts, however, most of us fail to realize our New Year’s resolutions. We become tired, distracted, overwhelmed, or we just plain give up. But with a few easy tips, we can make sure this year is the year we really make our resolutions pop!

Four Ways To Actually Keep Your New Year’s Resolutions

Write Them Down: One way to keep your resolutions is to actually write them down. We all have an idea of what we’d like to accomplish this year, but until you take a few minutes to write it down (or create a vision board) it’s just a thought. Once you put pen to paper (or crack open your computer) you are making your intentions concrete, which means you’re more likely to revisit them throughout the year and complete them.

Don’t Play Yourself: How many times have we set lofty goals like shed 50 pounds or save $10,000, knowing good and well the sheer number itself is paralyzing? Instead of trying to set your ultimate goal (only to then be disappointed when it’s not going quite right), set smaller more attainable goals. Maybe shoot for exercising three days a week and cooking more, or saving $50 per paycheck. Either way, the small successes you build along the way will give you more confidence to stay the course and reach your ultimate goal.

Don’t Beat Yourself Up: Anytime we make new goals just know there WILL be setbacks. However, how you respond to the setbacks is key. Instead of beating yourself up about eating a piece of cake or going on an unplanned shopping spree, hop right back on the clean-eating/money-saving bandwagon and vow to make better choices next time.  Remember that no one is perfect, so expecting that your journey to your goals is going to be smooth sailing is not only delusional, it’s also dangerous to your success.

Upgrade Your Friends: No one can kill your New Year’s mojo faster than a negative friend. If you are serious about making 2011 your best year ever, you might have to reevaluate who you hang out with (and cut some ties). There is no room on your team for a “Doubting Thomas,” only those who are going to be supportive and cheer you on. If you have friends who constantly tell you, “girl . . . you know you don’t need to be doing that,” every time you share your dreams, you might want to reconsider your friendship. While ditching a friend sounds harsh, surrounding yourself with people who truly love and support you is one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself.

What are your goals for the New Year? Share them and let’s support each other!

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