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December 24, 2008 THE VILLADOM TIMES II, III & IV • Page 15
Last Minute GIFT GUIDE
Six resolution strategies that can change your life
(ARA) Do you want to lose weight, spend more time
with your family, or get a better job in 2009? These are
just a few common New Year’s resolutions that many
of us make in January and too often forget by mid-
March. This year, if you want to keep your resolutions
and truly change your life for the better, follow some
expert strategies for success.
“The New Year is a great time to self-evaluate and
take steps toward your goals. But in order to set those
goals and stay focused, many of us need to shift our
way of thinking. With the right strategies, you can make
permanent changes to your life,” said John G. Miller,
an expert who has spent over 20 years studying per-
sonal accountability, and author of “QBQ! The Ques-
tion Behind the Question” and “Flipping the Switch.”
Here are some of Miller’s tips for making your New
Year’s resolutions stick:
Don’t underestimate the power of personal account-
ability. If you can shift the way you think away from blame,
procrastination, and victim thinking, and focus instead
on personal choices and responsibility, you can better
position yourself for change in your life. Being busy is
one of the top excuses people use when they don’t keep
their resolutions. Stop blaming your calendar by saying,
“I’m too busy to visit my parents,” or “My schedule is
too hectic to eat healthy.” Adopt the “no excuses” way
of living. Remember -- everything is a choice. It’s up to
the individual to choose what priorities to make room
for in life.
Write it down and set a deadline.
Write your goals down and consider tracking your
progress in a journal. Set a deadline for when you plan
to complete your goal. Do you want to lose 15 pounds
in 90 days? Organize your entire house in the next six
months? A deadline creates energy; without one your
goal is just something you hope to do at some point,
someday. Once you’ve reached your deadline, you can
look back and measure your progress. If you’ve met the
deadline successfully, you’ll feel great! If you haven’t
yet reached your goal, you can revamp your plan, set a
new deadline, and forge ahead.
Reach out for support.
Miller says, “Though we can’t change others and
they cannot change us, it’s helpful for a close friend
to know the path I’m on. If they are aware of my
goal, they can support me by asking about my prog-
ress, and by not offering chocolate cake if I’m trying
to lose weight.” Tell a close friend or family member
and encourage them to share their goals with you too.
If you’re comfortable, you might also consider joining
a support group with others who are working toward
Bite size goals are best.
All Instead of saying, “I want to be a more organized
person,” create a goal that is more specific. Set a goal
like, “I will keep my car clean instead of it looking
like a landfill on wheels.” You might want to lose 15
pounds but you can’t do it all at once. Try a goal like, “I
will lose two pounds per month.” For a better chance at
success, set your goals for the long term, but measure
in the short term. Bite size pieces are easier to chew.
Be aware of your feelings.
Tough goals are not achieved easily. Expect a roller
coaster of ups and downs and be able to recognize your
emotions. When negative emotions arise, refocus your
thinking. Miller suggests asking an effective ques-
tion. “Instead of asking, ‘Why does this have to be so
hard?’ instead ask ‘What can I do right now to change
my thinking?’ When we change our thoughts, we take
control of our feelings, which leads to better actions
and habits, and ultimately, success.”
Focus on the benefits of the change.
When you start to drift from your goal, remind
yourself why you have the goal in the first place. Are
you losing weight so you have more energy? Are you
organizing your house or exercising more so you have
less stress? You have this goal for a reason. Especially
during the bumps in the road, remind yourself why you
have it and the positive outcome you’ll enjoy once it’s
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