5 Ways to Make New Year's Resolutions Stick

Ideas Every day you have a choice to make, over and over again -- to take another step toward your dream or to let it slide until tomorrow.

There will be some days when life simply gets in the way and demands that you work on other things; there are other days when you're on fire, and there's no stopping you.

  • Control it when you can.
  • Make the right choice when you have one.
  • Be honest about how often you do have a choice.
  • Cut yourself some slack when you genuinely don't.
  • If you mess up today, pick up where you left off tomorrow.

Goal Setting Principals That Work

There are ways to approach your goals that will give you a better chance at success.

1. Find a buddy or a group. Accountability and social support are enormously powerful. Your friends and family may get tired of playing your coach, but someone who's working toward the same goal will be eager to share common experiences. With the Internet and social media, there's no excuse for not connecting other people who share your goals.

2. Talk about your experiences. If you're going to write down your "resolutions," then keep on writing. Talk about your goals daily, or at least weekly, with the other people who are on the same path. Start a journal. Keep a log. Blog about it. Post about it on Facebook. When you find a few people who are eager to comment and discuss, start a special invitation only Group or Page. Or join one that already exists.

3. Low-ball your efforts. A series of small successes builds confidence and generates momentum. The opposite is also true: a goal that's too big puts you one bad day away from failure, deflation, and a domino effect down to defeat.

For example, if you intend to work out 5 days a week, change your goal to 3 days. If you intend to write 1,000 words a day, make your minimum 500 words.

4. Make every day a Start date. We often put too much pressure on that auspicious First Day, when really it's just one of many. Don't psyche yourself out. Each morning, it's the same choice in front of you -- to do it again.

5. Simplify your goals. Psyche yourself up for success. Break your big goals down into the simplest possible action steps, especially ones that can be repeated. Make them stupid-easy to pull off. And give yourself credit for every little inch of progress.

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Image credit h.koppdelaney via Creative Commons on Flickr