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December 26, 2019 3 minute READ

Therefore Be It Resolved, the New Year is Here

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Have you ever wondered where the practice of making New Year’s Resolutions started? According to History.com, it’s a practice that’s at least 4,000 years old. The Babylonians made promises to the gods to pay their debts and to return items they had borrowed to curry favor. The Romans changed the calendar to start the New Year in January, named for the god Janus, who had two faces – one looking into the past and the other focused on the future. 

As 2019 comes to a close and 2020 is about to start, here are seven tips to help you find success in keeping your resolutions.

  1. Keep It Simple and Focused – Don’t make a resolution to “read more.” It’s too vague and there’s no real way to measure it. Instead set an attainable goal like “read two books each month.” Now, write it down somewhere that you will be reminded of it often.
  2. Make a Plan – No matter what your resolution is, you need to have a plan to have success. So, if your goal is to read more, you’ll need to plan a time to read. Maybe you’ll have a goal to read 30 minutes every night right after supper or right before bed.
  3. Be Realistic – Just because you’ve set a resolution, the rest of the world can’t revolve around it. There will be times (or months) where you don’t reach your goal of reading two books. Maybe the books you chose that month were much longer than usual (think Pillars of the Earth – a great book, but LONG and involved) or maybe you had other events or business that you had to tend to that made it impossible to execute your 30-minute reading plan. That leads right into the next tip.
  4. Get Back on Track – Just because you didn’t meet your goal doesn’t mean that you need to totally give up on your resolution. Say to yourself, “OK, so I didn’t get my two books for February. That’s fine. I’m starting again now.”
  5. Share Your Goal – Tell a friend or colleague what you are aspiring to do – someone who has been supportive and encouraging in the past. They can be your biggest advocate and can help provide a little extra “umph” when you need it.
  6. Treat Yourself – When you reach a goal within your resolution, give yourself a treat. Meeting a goal cannot be associated with drudgery – why would someone set a goal, if it is? Tie your treat to something that you enjoy but doesn’t run counter-intuitive to your goal. For instance: a nifty little reading light or maybe even a collectible book as a reward for reaching a target.
  7. Modify Your Goals – Sometimes we overestimate our abilities. That doesn’t mean that we can’t do it; we just can’t do it yet. Reassess – did I make my goal too difficult or did I make it too easy? If it’s too hard to meet, modify to something that is attainable, but not too easy. If it’s too easy to meet the goal, stretch yourself to get better by making your goal just a little harder. The biggest thing to remember is to not give up.

These seven tips will help you keep your New Year’s Resolutions or really to stay on top of any goal. Good luck and Happy 2020!

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