5 Tips to Craft New Year's Resolutions You'll Really Want to Keep

There's no denying that January 1st feels like a fresh start. Even though it really is just another day, there's something to be said for capitalizing on the feeling of newness and the blank slate so many of us see at the turn of the year.  Some people are discouraged before they start, let down by themselves last year or convinced by the idea that New Year's Resolutioners are doomed to fail. I believe that you can make the most of any day, so why not January 1? Here are some tips for starting January 1st--or any day, for that matter--off with a bang!

1.       Create action-oriented resolutions. Rather than focusing on an outcome, for instance losing x number of pounds, focus on the habits you could emphasize to help you get there, perhaps committing to exercising four times a week.

2.       Focus on what you want to create, not what you’re trying to get rid of. Rather than saying you won’t eat chocolate, focus on what you might eat instead: I’ll have fruit for dessert.

3.       Choose resolutions that resonate with you. Changing ourselves is no easy task, and I think the motivation and commitment required are the kind that comes from a genuine, personal desire to change. Hearing on the news that you should do this or do that and deciding to go with the masses or obliging someone’s nagging requests of you are two ways to set goals that you might stick to while it’s easy, but will surely find it difficult to stay focused on when the going gets tough.

4.       Be picky, and focus on a few at a time. While the idea of a life overhaul is sexy and probably sells lots of books and programs, we lead busy, busy lives. One strategy to make the most of the year ahead might be to focus on one area of improvement each month. Prioritizing down to a few key areas of improvement might be tough, but if you think ahead to this time next year and ask yourself what would make you the most proud looking back, you should be able to find a couple that are worth the most of your time and effort.

5.       Have fun with it. How can you make the process of self-improvement a little more fun? Could you build in rewards for progress made? Is there a way you could creatively document your journey? Could you get a friend on board to join you for the journey? There are plenty of ways to take what could easily feel like a chore and make it something you’re able to enjoy instead! 

Happy New Year to you--here's hoping it's filled with all the things you want for yourself!