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Are any of these on your list this year? Chances are, you’d like to achieve at least one of these in 2011. Here are some tips to attaining your goals in a realistic and cost-efficient way!

1. Set direct, specific goals instead of general ones.

“Lose weight” and “exercise more” are such vague goals—you won’t stick to these goals if you don’t set some parameters. Every year people spend thousands of dollars on gym memberships, eating plans and fitness equipment that they never use because their goals are too vague and uninspiring.

Give yourself a specific and achievable target, such as:
  • “Lose 5 pounds every month this year”
  • “Walk 15 miles every week”
  • “Eat oatmeal and fruit for breakfast instead of bagels and donuts”
  • “Drink water instead of soda, allowing for 1 soda per week”
Similar principles apply to other resolutions such as saving money, getting organized, getting out of debt and more. The more specific you can be, the better!

 

2. Use the buddy system.

Some resolutions can be really hard for some people to stick with, like quitting smoking, losing weight or getting out of debt. They certainly are not impossible – but success is far more likely when you’ve got an accountability partner who is a) working toward the same goal and b) keeping a close eye on your progress.

For example, if your resolution is to save X amount of money instead of frittering it away on unnecessary purchases, call this friend every time you feel the urge to splurge. (Just be sure to tell her in advance that she’s supposed to talk you out of buying things you don’t absolutely need!) Plus, everything is more fun when friends are involved. Improve your lives together!

Bonus: You could even start a blog to track your progress! Sharing your progress with a community of readers will not only motivate you to keep moving forward, but it will also provide encouragement as they cheer you on.

 

3. Believe in yourself, but be realistic.

Surely getting out of debt, losing 25 pounds, quitting smoking, getting that promotion and going back to school are achievable goals on their own—but pressuring yourself to accomplish them all at once is setting yourself up for a massive failure. You CAN make those positive changes in your life and keep your resolutions. There’s no question! Just be sure you’re focusing your energy on one or two achievable goals at a time to ensure success.

Remember — if you achieve one goal, you don’t have to wait until next year to set a new one! Tackle them one at a time, then move on to the next. This is going to be your best year yet – you just have to believe it and get to work!

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