It’s that time of year when we are all determined to make our New Year’s resolutions stick…holding them near and dear to our hearts…and our mid-sections.

Until, that is…the third week of January.

Try as we might…we will most certainly find that one little excuse that puts our resolutions in jeopardy. Most of the time, the resolutions we select are just too inflexible, and our hectic schedules just don’t allow us to manage these lofty expectations throughout the year. Therefore, our grand plans go by the snowy wayside…er, I mean, by the sandy beachside never to be seen again (until January 1st of next year).

So, how do we make our resolutions stick? Here are a few suggestions:

1)      Limit the number of resolutions you want to tackle

2)      Make your goals attainable

3)      Stop talking about it and start acting on it

4)      Make sure they are your resolutions and not someone else’s suggestions

5)      When push comes to shove…don’t give up so easily

“I want to go on a diet,”…” I want to stop smoking,”…”I want to join a gym”…are all ambiguous goals. Therefore, if you have a serious resolution you want to follow through on, then look to #6:

6)      Define that resolution to the nth degree

Outline the resolution by explaining what, why, where, when and how…THIS is the way you get your resolution to stick for longer than, say, a month. Write it down…and, be able to look at your timetable…the goal…and the objectives…often! Place it on your refrigerator…the most visited place in your home. In other words, put it in a place other than beside your favorite spot on the couch.

Make the changes small…and, take gradual, obtainable baby steps.

There is no need to go ‘cold turkey’ on that diet. There is no possible way you can go all-out at the gym one day and be able to move your right arm the next day (remember the phrase, no pain…no gain?). And, smoking? Make a goal of limiting down each day, or each week or each month…until that vice is no longer a vice. Other vices…same premise…look to #2: make your goals attainable. ‘Attainable’…not so far out of reach that you give in that third week of January.

I personally made a change in my life over three years back…the year I turned 50 (yes, now you all know my age). Through my New Year’s resolution, I vowed that I would join a gym and work out each and every week…and I indeed kept my promise. To this day, I do my very best to get to that gym three, if not four days a week. At first, I was so sore that I couldn’t move my pinky finger. Even today, I feel pain the day after working out. But, I know it is something that I must continue to do.

So, why do I do it?

1)      My health

2)      My life

3)      My family

Is there any other reason?

If you have a New Year resolution you want to tackle, then define that resolution to the nth degree. Take a look at those three reasons on my ‘why do I do it’ list and accomplishing your goal will be that much easier.

We all have a vice (or, two…or, three) we’d love to offload onto the previous year. And, I think 2013 would be a great year to do just that…a year to blame. I mean, come on…it even ends in that unlucky number ‘13!’

Pick your poison…it might be painful, but it will be well worth your time.


And, baby steps.