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Published 8:02 pm Wednesday, January 4, 2006

By Staff
10 Tips for New Year's resolutions
Chances are, at some time in your life you've made a New Year's Resolution – and then broken it. This year, stop the cycle of resolving to make change, but not following through.
Here are 10 tips to help get you started:
1. Be realistic: The surest way to fall short of your goal is to make your goal unattainable. For instance, resolving to never eat your favorite desserts again could be a bad choice. Strive for a goal that is attainable.
2. Plan ahead: Don't make your resolution on New Year's Eve. If you wait until the last minute, it will be based on your mind-set that particular day. Instead it should be well planned before December 31 arrives.
3 Outline your plan: Decide how you will deal with the temptation to skip the exercise class, or just have one more cigarette. This could include calling on a friend for help, or practicing positive thinking and self-talk.
4. Make a "pro" and "con" list: It may help to see a list of items on paper to keep your motivation strong. Develop this list over time, and ask others to contribute to it. Keep your list with you and refer to it when you need help keeping your resolve.
5. Talk about it: Don't keep your resolution a secret. Tell friends and family members who will be there to support your resolve to change yourself for the better. The best case scenario is to find yourself a buddy who shares your New Year's Resolution and motivate each other.
6. Reward Yourself: This doesn't mean that if your resolution is to diet you can eat an entire box of chocolates. Instead, celebrate your success by treating yourself to something that you enjoy.
7. Track your progress: Keep track of each small success you make toward reaching your larger goal. Short-term goals are easier to keep, and small accomplishments will help keep you motivated.
8. Don't Beat Yourself Up: Obsessing over the occasional slip won't help you achieve your goal. Do the best you can each day, and take them one at a time.
9. Stick to it: Experts say it takes about 21 days for a new activity, such as exercising, to become a habit, and 6 months for it to become part of your personality.
10. Keep trying: If your resolution has totally run out of steam by mid-February, don't despair. Start over again! There's no reason you can't make a "New Year's Resolution" any time of year.
Fast Facts About New Year's Resolutions
Top four resolutions:
1. Increase exercise
2. Be more conscientious about work or school
3. Develop better eating habits
4. Stop smoking, drinking, or using drugs (including caffeine)

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