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A new you in the New Year

Who can believe another year has come and almost gone. New Year’s Day is just six days away and already the talk around the newsroom and community is what everyone is planning to do differently in the New Year.
For most of us, this is the time of year to take stock and decide to move toward a happier, and for some, a more organized, thinner New Year. But what looks so easy as the minute hand approaches midnight on New Year’s eve, often becomes only a memory as we get nearer marking off the last of the cold January days.
For most of us, our New Year’s resolutions end up getting thrown out with our party hats and noisemakers as we gather the trash from our celebrations because we lack the necessary motivation, energy and desire that make lasting change possible.
This year, we want to encourage everyone to not to let those resolutions slip away so quickly! Each one represents a desire to reach toward better health, happiness, knowledge or wisdom. We want to offer some tips that might help you strengthen your resolve to keep your New Year’s resolutions – whatever they are.
• Resolve globally, act locally: This familiar slogan tells a truth about personal change: however lofty the goal, the engine for making changes comes from small, daily steps. Translate each resolution (“I will lose 15 pounds this year,” “I will teach myself machine knitting.”) into specific daily and weekly actions toward the goal.
• Add, don’t subtract: Humans being what they are, it’s far easier to add new behaviors than to subtract old, established habits. As you put your resolutions into action, frame them in terms of positive changes, not negative ones.
• Write it down: Often, New Year’s resolutions evaporate because they’re never written down or shared with an accountability partner. Talk’s cheap—and never cheaper than when we are fantasizing about change. Too often, the desire to improve fades away with the sound of the conversation. Put your resolutions on a body-building plan! First, harness the power of the pen (or computer or PDA!). Write out each resolution: the goal, reasons for aspiring to the goal, and the individual steps—daily, weekly, monthly—that you’ll use to reach the goal. Putting a resolution in writing lets you refer to it often, and gives the plan a substance and validity that will help create motivation.
• Become accountable: Best of all, find an accountability partner: a trusted friend, family member or support group who is invested in the success of your resolution. Share your resolution with your accountability partner, and work out a check-in system at least once a week. An accountability partner can celebrate successes, help analyze failures, and provide a hefty dose of motivation on a regular basis.
• Get right back up on that horse: Don’t let New Year’s resolutions fall victim to the first little slip! Those who study successful self-change know that one indicator for eventual success at changing habits is previous unsuccessful attempts at change. When you do fall off the plan, sit back and figure out why – then work to solve the problem standing between you and your goal. Then try again!
Don’t let a small stumble stand in the way. Learn from each setback, and keep moving forward.
The beginning of a new year is a terrific new beginning for everyone. We hope this New Year’s celebration marks the beginning of the very best year ever for all of you.

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Posted by on Dec 27 2006. Filed under Editorials. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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