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How to keep those New Year’s resolutions

Admit it, you all know the drill: as January begins to hove into view and the personal recriminations really crank up a gear following another year of slovenly indulgence, you once again resolve to be a better person. A better, fitter, healthier, richer and happier person.

But how to maintain those tricky New Year’s resolutions? We know a man who can help – William Montgomery of prominent leadership consultants, Ten.

“However well-intentioned you may be, your New Year resolutions have little chance of being fulfilled unless you set clear goals and focus on the rewards. Think through exactly what you will do, where you will do it, and at what time.

“Vague plans fail. For example, instead of saying that you will go running two days a week, tell yourself that you will run on Tuesday and Thursdays at 6pm. The most popular resolution, from research we conducted with our clients, falls into the vague category, however. It is to enjoy life more.”

Therefore…

1. "Create a plan. Setting a goal without formulating a plan is merely wishful thinking. In order for your resolution to have resolve, it must translate into clear steps that can be put into action. A good plan will tell you a) what to do next and b) what are all of the steps required to complete the goal. If you're like most people, then you'll have a limited window of opportunity during the first few days of January to harness your motivation. After that, most people forget their resolutions completely. It is imperative that you begin creating your plan immediately."

2. "Think year round, not just new year. Nothing big gets accomplished in one day. Resolutions are set in one day, but accomplished with a hundred tiny steps that happen throughout the year. New Year's resolutions should be nothing more than a starting point. You must develop a ritual or habit for revisiting your plan."

3. "Remain flexible. Expect that your plan can and will change. Life has a funny way of throwing unexpected things at us, and flexibility is required to complete anything but the simplest goal. Sometimes the goal itself will even change. Most of all, recognize partial successes at every step along the way. Just as a resolution isn't accomplished the day it's stated, neither is it accomplished the day you reach your goal. Rather, it's accomplished in many small increments along the way. Acknowledge these incremental successes as they come."

(Image: Allstar)

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