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How to Keep your New Year's Resolutions

New Year's Eve is the traditional time to make resolutions for the coming year. Most resolutions are about something we passionately want. Even if you are not the type who makes New Year's resolutions, notice that somewhere, quietly, in the back of your mind, you are probably making one anyway.

The problem with resolutions is that most people never keep theirs. And it's no surprise. Most of us resolve to do big things -- lose weight, get into a relationship, improve a relationship, get a better job, improve business, get healthy, save money, etc. These are not easy things, and cannot be accomplished simply because we resolve to accomplish them. It's not that big things can't be accomplished. It's just that it takes something, and often lots of something, to move us in the direction of accomplishing big goals.

What is that something? A goal made out of small, do-able steps that you will be willing to take on a consistent basis. The key is that the steps must be small and absolutely do-able, and that you are willing, even eager, to take them on a consistent basis.

For example, try on these two New Year's resolutions: 1. I will go on a diet and lose weight this year. 2. I will stop late-night eating in front of the TV three nights a week and will instead go cuddle in my bed with a good book (or a cuddly person). Do you see how the first resolution is large and intimidating, while the second one is fairly small and do-able, with an alternative behavior that is delicious and easy to repeat? I bet the second resolution will last longer and will yield more measurable results.

Here is what you do to create a New Year's resolution you will actually keep. You can use this process for anything you want to achieve, from losing weight to building your business, from improving your work performance to improving your love life:

1. Come up with a goal(s) you very much want to accomplish. Make sure the goal is yours, and not someone else's for you.

2. Break it down into the smallest steps you can come up with. Trust me : the smaller the better. This is the one key that is missing from most advice on resolutions and change.

3. Write the steps down, in detail, so that you know what you need to do next once you accomplish one step.

4. If you are trying not to do something in some of your steps - such as not eat late at night - come up with an alternative behavior you want to do so much that giving up the thing doesn't hurt any more - i.e. reading a good book or cuddling may make it easy to give up late-night snacking.

5. If you are trying to do something in some of your steps - such as get to the gym - come up with an immediate reward. For example, listen to your favorite music while working out. Or a get a latte to sit down with to do that report you have been putting off.

6. Get support for taking each small step. Find a partner to do this process with, tell people around you what you are doing and give them permission to motivate and encourage you. Share your accomplishments with people who care about you.

7. Start off right and get support as you go - get coaching on your new year's resolutions. There is nothing like a professional motivator to get your engine in gear. See the special I am running on coaching this week - 1/2 off coaching fees for this week only - info in sidebar.

Happy New Year! May you make 2005 a wonderful year!

(c) Rinatta Paries. Do you know how to attract your ideal mate? Do you know how to build a fulfilling relationship, or how to reinvent yours to meet your needs? Relationship Coach Rinatta Paries can teach you the skills and techniques to attract and sustain long-term, healthy partnerships. Visit where you'll find quizzes, classes, advice and a free weekly ezine. Become a "true love magnet(tm)!"

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