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Succeeding with New Year’s Resolutions

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Author: Mark Dixon
Tuesday, January 2, 2007
11:11 am

Happy New Year!

This morning I received an email from an esteemed associate, Joan Gustafson, with sage advice about New Year’s resolutions. With her permission, may I share the advice with you, verbatim from her email:

“If you made and kept New Year’s resolutions last year, you are in the minority. Since most New Year’s resolutions are broken by February 1, I want you to have the following article that has been published in several newspapers and magazines since I wrote it.”

Succeeding with New Year’s Resolutions

By Joan Eleanor Gustafson

The following tips will help you to make and keep resolutions that will improve your life:

  • Before making a resolution or setting a goal, think about what you really want in your life. Many of us make resolutions to do what we think we should do; however, we do not want the results enough to remain committed to the resolution.
  • Ensure that your resolution is realistic and achievable. Many people give up on trying to keep their New Year’s resolutions, because they were hoping to achieve the impossible when they made the resolution.
  • Write your resolution on paper, and keep this piece of paper in a place where you can look at it every day. Research shows that people with written goals are more likely to achieve these goals.
  • Make a commitment to yourself to keep the resolution, ensuring that you understand the effort that will be involved in doing this.
  • Visualize the end result. Close your eyes, and create a mental picture of how this will look. In this mental picture, visualize yourself as you enjoy these results. Repeat this visualization daily, picturing yourself as if you have already achieved your goal.
  • Describe the benefits of your resolutions. It is best to do this on paper, so that you can read the benefits whenever you might struggle to keep the resolution.
  • Develop and implement an action plan. Determine the steps that you will take in order to achieve your goal, and write these down. It is easier to work on one small step at a time than on a big goal.
  • Reward yourself as you reach milestones along the way to achieving your goal. As we give recognition to ourselves for our accomplishments, we expand our enthusiasm and energy to accomplish more.
  • If you make a mistake, give yourself permission to start again. We are all in a constant process of growth and development. We can use our mistakes as learning opportunities and become even stronger than we had been previously.
Copyright © 2002 Joan Eleanor Gustafson

Joan Eleanor Gustafson is an award-winning professional speaker, leadership coach, and consultant. She is the author of seven books, which are available through her website (www.leaderdynamics.com), Amazon.com, and major bookstores. As president of Success and Leadership Dynamics and senior partner with Duffy Consulting Firm, Joan specializes in leadership development and organizational effectiveness.

Thank you, Joan, for sharing your great advice with us in this new year of 2007.

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