5 easy things you can do now to make your new years resolutions stick

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With only 4 more days in 2013, there’s a lot of talk about resolutions. It’s no secret that I don’t put a lot of faith in new years resolutions because my observation has been that they seldom work. You have a much better chance of sticking with them if you do a few things differently.

 

-Whether it’s beginning a new exercise regiment, quitting smoking or committing to writing 3 blog posts a week, setting a future date just doesn’t make sense. Changing behavior is a practice and is more effective if you begin today. To say you’re going to begin a different behavior on January 1st is about as effective as starting a diet tomorrow. If you begin practicing new eating or workout habits today, right in the middle of the day, by the first you’ll be 4 days in and already see some results so you’ll be more likely to keep at it.

-Add in more of the good stuff rather than deprivation. I keep coming back to food because it’s a relatable analogy. If your goal is to cut back on sugar and processed foods, it’s easier to focus on discovering and enjoying more fruits and vegetables than it is to think about denying yourself cupcakes. It works the same with productivity.

-Don’t just make a to-do list. Put specific tasks on your calendar. If you’ve fallen into the big black time hole called Facebook (or Pinterest or You Tube), rather than just swearing off social media, schedule a couple of times a day to check and interact. Keep the page closed except for that specified time.  If you find yourself losing hours reading and answering emails, schedule a couple of times a day and turn your notification off so you’re not tempted to keep checking whenever you hear the ding of incoming mail.

-Take a few small action steps now to set your intentions in motion for the new year. Imagine your big goal for the new year is to broaden your professional network.  Rather than hunker down for the next few days in your usual pattern of comfortable isolation, make a few phone calls or emails today to set up appointments to meet with other entrepreneurs in person after the first.

-Set up support and accountability. When I was a runner, there were mornings that I would have liked to stay in my warm bed an extra half hour but knowing that my running buddy would be waiting at the corner and I didn’t want to let her down kept me showing up. I see the same with clients. We work together to line up action steps each week and knowing they will be speaking to me the following week keeps them moving forward to reach their goals.

What small action steps can you take now, to start those new years intentions today? What do you do in December to assure you’ll stick with new years resolutions? As always, you’re invited to share in the comments below.

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