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New Years Resolutions
By: David Hagger

Let's talk about New Year's Resolutions. Do you set the same resolutions over and over, year after year, with the same results? Do you procrastinate, avoid the issue, confess to being lazy or come up with a zillion reasons why you will do something about those anoying resolutions tomorrow?

Then there's a little voice in the back of your mind that whispers, "You have a whole year to make these changes, right?"

Here's an example. You wake up one morning in early January and announce," I ate too much over the Christmas holidays, my New Year's resolution is to lose weight this year!"

So, have you decided how many kilos you want to lose, or are you more interested in losing inches, or wearing a smaller clothing size?

How quickly or slowly should this resolution be achieved - by sometime next week seems reasonable, right? Have you thought about your diet and exercise program or have you simply stated, "I want to lose weight this year," and now you'll journey into 2011 doing exactly what you've always done and expect miraculously different results.

But, enough about your weight, the point is to take charge! The following tips will show you how to stop sulking, to develop a clear sense of purpose and to stride boldly into 2011.

Start with buying yourself a nice diary or at the very least set aside a notepad that you will use to record your journey into the New Year. Begin with a few positive sentences about your greatest accomplishments of 2010.

Then, jot down some of the mistakes or obstacles that kept life interesting but are better left in 2010. Now, write down your list of resolutions for 2011. This doesn't have to be fancy or grammatically correct it is just a place for you to note your ideas in an effort to develop that clear sense of purpose.

The following quiz can help you explore how and why you choose these particular resolutions.

1) Is your list the same or a similar list to the one you wrote last year?

2) How many years have you used this same list without achieving the results you sought?

3) Are you setting goals to please others or to please yourself?

4) Why did you set each resolution on your list? To answer this WHY question, consider the following:

5) Think back to who you were when you first decided upon each resolution.

6) Are there any resolutions on your list that don't apply to your life right now?

7) Why did you want to accomplish each goal when you first set the intentions?

8) Was there or is there someone else in your life that influenced you to add any of the resolutions?

9) Why do you want to accomplish each goal now?

10) When, or by what date, do you want to achieve each goal?

11) What specific steps will you take this year to achieve your resolutions?

12) What are you really trying to achieve in 2011?

CHALLENGE: List at least ONE thing you will do differently than you have ever done before to make your dreams a reality in 2011!

Now, look at your resolutions from a whole new angle. Start with a blank page and develop a list of everything you have ever wanted to do.

That's right, everything. Ignore all resolutions, obligations, fears, costs or any other obstacles that may prevent you from adding an item to your list. Just write anything that comes to mind when you reflect on everything that you have ever wanted to do.

To develop a clear sense of purpose for the New Year, take the list and choose at least two things that you will commit to accomplishing in 2011. Then, write out a few steps that will help you begin the journey of attaining something that really has meaning!

Here's the fun part. Compare your list of everything you have ever wanted to do with your initial New Year's resolutions. Are there common themes between what you will set out to conquer in 2005 and what you hope to conquer when you consider everything you would like to do with the rest of your life? If the two lists don't show similar desires, what are you waiting for?

Make 2011 the year that you change the way you set and REACH your New Year's resolutions. An effective way to tackle resolutions is by committing to take one step each week so the goals become more than just intentions; they become habits.

If you are averse to the thought of change taking an entire year, then commit to a time schedule that feels right for your situation. You'll see results with every week that you take action!

This is your life, so set your own rules and work at your own pace. If it does take you an entire year to reach those resolutions, think of it this way: what's a year when it means a happier rest of your life?

Added: 13-09-2011