1. Make sure you have the right goal. Is it measurable? Is it realistic?
2. Focus on one or two resolutions at the most – not a list of ten. Changing a habit is difficult and the more attention you can give it the better.
3. Make a concrete plan. If your goal is to exercise more, buy the gym membership or home video and set specific days and times to exercise.
4. Write down your goal and track your progress. Putting things on paper is powerful. Post your resolution and daily updates on your refrigerator or bathroom mirror where you can look at them every day.
5. Replace bad habits with good ones. It helps to have a healthy habit to turn to whenever you have to say no to something. If you’re giving up soda, make sure you have some great teas or a new water bottle to replace it. If your resolution is to complain less, write down something you’re thankful for each time you want to say something negative.
6. Identify the motivation for your resolution. Why do you want to eat healthier? To have more energy? To live a longer, healthier life? To be a good example for your children? Knowing the why will help you get through the tough times.
7. Remember that it won’t be easy. Setting proper expectations for yourself can help you get over the hurdles you’ll face.
8. Reward yourself. If your resolution is to work on your novel every day, reward yourself with a new book or a coffee from Starbucks each month that you write 20 or more days.
9. Visualize success. Envision yourself on December 31, 2013 after you've successfully reached your goal. How will you feel? What would that look like?
10. Don’t be afraid to fail. Resolutions are hard. If you get off track, get up and try again.
Are you setting New Year’s Resolutions this year? What are they? How do you plan to stick to them?