Tricks to Stick to Your New Year’s Resolutions, Baltimore

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Quick! It’s already December 28th! Time to make those ultra-ambitious resolutions (by the dozen) that typically get abandoned (if you’re like me) two weeks into the New Year (or sooner). Sigh. As we approach 2013, I wondered, “Is there any reasonable way to make a resolution stick? What do the ‘experts’ have to say?” And by experts, yes, I do mean random advice-givers that we tend to locate online…late at night. According to them, yes, there’s much hope via recommended strategy. According to my deeper soul-searching, I have an intuitive new suggestion or two to offer readers with resolve.

If you scan around online, you’ll find that self-helpers offer fairly similar recipes for resolution glue. Some steps seem helpful. Cosmo.com — in perhaps the most practical (lace-free) advice they’ve dispensed this decade — says to focus on one resolution (don’t give up caffeine and aim to log extra hours at the office); be specific as you define your goal (for example, if you want to save a certain amount of money, pin down precisely how much and by which date); write down the plan to formalize it; and perhaps most important: forgive slip-ups and reaffirm your vision regularly. Other interweb gurus urge you to break down your big agenda into smaller, bite-size goals, ask your friends for support, troubleshoot (in your journal) to override potential obstacles, and identify time-wasters (like Googling online experts) and aim to omit them.

Health.com says smartly that it’s probably best not to set a fitness (or other) goal to a strict clock — which cues you to dread it — but instead try to incorporate the activity into your day organically, gently. For instance, jog before or after you finish your daily deadlines. Or, I might add, before a great meal.

My own advice: set some goals that speak to you, two or three important and specific ones. And celebrate any mileage you make. Then come spring, set some others and/or renew similar commitments. Same for summer. Pace yourself. And mark each stride with a personal high-five, a reward and a reminder that you can accomplish anything you set your authentic mind to, just maybe not everything at once.



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