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Top New Year's resolutions & how to keep them!

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1. Eat healthy/lose weight      
2. Decrease alcohol intake
3. Learn a new hobby
4. Stop smoking
5. Work/life balance
6. Volunteer
7. Save money
8. Get organized
9. Read more
10. Finish the TO DO list.



Rome was not built in a day, neither will your goals. When you are trying to accomplish any goal in life, it is easy to quit if you do not see immediate results. Sometimes the best things in life, we have to wait for. For example, if your goal is to lose 20 pounds, just because you have only lost one pound or none, does not mean that you should quit. Try another strategy and be creative. This often occurs when people set to learn something new, such as the piano. Many people do not grasp that "learning" anything is a process and it takes time, dedication and tenacity. This new year, make it your ambition to start small and not think of the bigger picture. Instead of thinking about the 20 pound weight loss, focus on losing one pound and the rest will eventually come. 

You can plan as much as you want, but sometimes there are circumstances that occur that are beyond our control. These circumstances can automatically cause an individual to give up on their plans or goals and begin to fully focus on another problem at hand. While, attending to life's emergencies are imperative, it is also important to not lose sight of yourself and what you desire. In fact, sometimes keeping a personal goal for yourself can add a healthy balance and allow you to maximize your capabilities and goals. When things try to knock you down, take control and NEVER let situations control you. 

While it is not important to shout to the world what your personal goals are, sometimes it is good to let at least one other person know because this holds you accountable to the goals that you have chosen. Many times, if we have no one to help keep our focus, then it is easy to slack off and just not do it. Partnering with an accountability buddy may be just as easy as joining another individual who routinely works out. If you tell a person who is dedicated to work out you are joining them and you do not, this type of person will probably hound you and NOT let you off the hook so easily.

Whether it is allowing yourself to have 5 more minutes of relaxation per week or spending a bit more money on yourself than usual, ALWAYS reward yourself when you reach certain goals. Even if you fall short of what you originally wanted, try not to be disappointed and remind yourself that you are one step closer then you were yesterday. If you give in to that craving of a cigarette or alcohol, your goals should not be over.  Forgive yourself, reward yourself and KEEP GOING!

Sometimes goals should be kept personal and close to your heart. As a human being, our first inclination is to want to go out and tell the entire world what we intend to accomplish over the next year. This may not be the best strategy for several reasons. 

A. Not many people are supportive of other people who are trying to better themselves, especially if it means you could potentially be living a life that "they" see as better than theirs.

B. It is easy to get discouraged if you do not receive encouragement from the people who are closest to you. This may sound ludicrous to some, but it is not unusual for family/friends to neglect their loved ones when they are trying to accomplish something for their best. It is easy for others to get caught up in their own drama and they can easily forget what you are trying to achieve. 

C. Letting too many people know your goal just adds stress to yourself. All of a sudden you find yourself trying to set goals simply because you are caring too much about what others think. This can completely turn into a competitive, unhealthy game without a win situation. Goals are personal, sometimes it is best (outside of your accountability buddy) to keep other people out of your business. 

Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life (Proverbs 4:23)."