7 Ways to Keep Your New Year’s Resolution for 2012

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Every New Year, people across the world celebrate the end of one year and the beginning of another. This is the time to look back on your accomplishments and challenges and make plans for a fresh new year.

Year after year, the most popular resolutions include drinking less alcohol, eating healthier, going back to school, finding better employment, losing weight, getting out of debt, taking vacations, and quitting smoking.

Recent studies show that 52% of people making resolutions believe they will keep them, yet only 12% actually achieve those goals. Bad habits are hard to break, and are compounded if you make more than one goal.

There are some simple tricks to help keep your New Year’s Resolution this year.

1. Believe in yourself.
If you don’t believe you can break your habit, most likely you won’t. Believing you can make important changes in your life and visualizing the benefits is the most important step.

2. Create a plan.
Visualize your daily habits and make a plan around them. Haphazardly going about your day will place you in circumstances you are not prepared for, and lead to failure. Create a date to start your resolution and write it down. Recognize and prepare for “triggers” like social situations and stress.

3. Prepare yourself mentally
Make a list of all everything associated with your habit. For example, if you want to quit smoking, think of how you feel when you smoke and how it impacts your life. What daily activities center on smoking? What are you unable to do because of smoking? How does it affect your relationships? How is it affecting your health? Knowing what is behind your behavior can give you the keys to unlock the door to success.

Visualize your new life without smoking and the positive changes you will experience. This is a powerful tool to reaching your goal.

4. Get support
Ask your friends and family for positive encouragement without judgment. Reach out to others who are going through the same experience online or in person. You can find supportive friends and information like online community forums and support groups.

Finding a buddy with the same resolution and going through the experience together is a great way to make the experience fun.

5. Jump in with both feet.
Even small steps begin a chain reaction to carry you forward to the next step. Overcoming the mental blocks to begin your plan may be difficult, but once started it’s hard to stop!

6. Know your limitations.
If you are overworked, stressed and tired, your willpower goes out the door, making it more likely you will break your resolution.   Willpower requires energy and concentration.  If you want to succeed, set yourself up with the tools you need to battle those moments when you lose your willpower.

7. Don’t give up.
Don’t expect your change to happen overnight. It may take days or months. What works for one person may not work for you, so keep trying until you find the right solution. Making small steps toward your goal can often be the best way. If you break your resolution one day, start it again the next until you reach your final goal for good!

Click here to read a study on the effectiveness of electronic cigarettes as a smoke-free alternative to tobacco cigarettes.