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© 2011 Kebba Buckley Button, M.S., O.M.  World Rights Reserved.

Happy New Year!  There are so many traditions around this time of year.  One of our greatest traditions is to make a list of New Year’s resolutions.  Some make the list prior to New Year’s Eve, then share their resolutions with friends at the party that night.  The popularity of making such a list suggests that people are not happy with the conditions or qualities or achievements of their life and lifestyle, as of the year that is closing.  Top resolutions Americans make are: to spend more time with loved ones, get fit, lose weight, quit smoking, enjoy life more, quit drinking, get out of debt, learn something new, help others, and get organized.

What happens to those resolutions?  Do yours last for at least 2 weeks?  Are they forgotten within a month?  What happened to your resolutions from a year ago?  Some people make commitments to complete their resolutions and some are more in wishcraft.  One study, published in the Journal of Clinical Psychology, found that people who make explicit resolutions succeed at 10 times the rate of people who have an idea that they would like to make a change later.  People with explicit resolutions held onto their resolve with surprising success:   after 6 months, 46% were still on track.  Whereas, after 6 months, only 4% of those who did not make explicit resolutions were still on track.  Which group would you like to be in?

Experts say there are several components to achieving goals:  write them down, be specific, and track your progress in some measurable way.  Post reminders on your mirrors and refrigerator, even inside your wallet.  Some people succeed with an accountability partner, perhaps a friend who shares the goal and will be supportive over a multimonth period.  Some people succeed with a support group.

How long will it take to meet your goal?  Be sure your resolution includes completing the goal in a reasonable period of time.  What if your desire is, for example, to lose 20 pounds, and never have it find you again?   Write down what you will do to achieve this goal, in, for example, a three-month framework.  Will you switch what you swallow (“diet”)?  Will you start taking great multivitamin and mineral supplements?  Will you exercise?  Where will you exercise, and what times and days?  If you are an extrovert, plan on classes or fitness center programs.  If you are an introvert, perhaps workout videos are for you.  After the three months, what will your maintenance program include?  Write it out and post it.  Do you get the pattern here?  Yes, work out the details of your resolution, and recognize that this is your success plan for this resolution.

Your life is a creative process, your greatest experiment.  What tools will you choose, as you craft it into the most joyous, healthy, and fulfilling life you can possibly have?  It’s up to you.

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Reach the writer at Kebba@kebba.com

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