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Steer Clear of These New Year’s Resolution Hazards

Whether you plan to exercise regularly, increase your productivity, or climb out of debt, you can improve your life by planning ahead and working hard to follow through.

But many of us get frustrated and give up on our goals because we run into these four roadblocks.

#1 Going it alone.

As Americans, we tend to feel like we should be able to “go it alone” and succeed. Most life coaches and personal trainers, agree that accountability leads to higher levels of success.

You’re more likely to drag yourself out in the freezing cold for a 5a.m. jog if you have a groggy exercise partner waiting for you. You may be more inclined to keep up church attendance if you send a Saturday-night text to a friend to let her know you’ll be there in the morning.

#2 Creating vague goals.

If a resolution is too vague or too broad, it can be difficult to measure success. “Get healthier” is a popular resolution, but without specifying a plan for achieving better health it can be easy to become disillusioned and go back to your old habits.

Instead, make your resolution something specific and measurable, like “get healthier by cutting out sugary drinks and getting at least eight hours of sleep every night.” By specifying the behaviors underlying the goal, you’re more likely to stay motivated and succeed long-term.

#3 Doing the same old thing over and over (and over).

If you make the same resolutions every year but haven’t seen success, you may need to try a new strategy (even if it’s intimidating at first!). If you’ve tried exercising self-control to quit smoking many times, it may be time to try a doctor-approved gum or patch.

If you’ve unsuccessfully attempted to reduce your stress, it can help to use prayer, aromatherapy, or yoga to relax (there are even apps that remind you to stop and breathe!). More options are available today than ever before, so why not challenge yourself with something new to achieve your goals?

#4 Berating yourself for missing the mark.

Lifestyle changes—big or small—can be difficult. If February rolls around and you haven’t accomplished what you wanted to, don’t beat yourself up. Start over again with a good attitude and realize that, even if you fall short of your goal, the decision to keep trying is half the battle.

We wish you all the best with your goals and plans for next year. Happy New Year!

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