Build Up Your Resolutions
Momoko Asakura

Good day, everyone! How was your New Year's celebration? Have you made any resolutions for the upcoming year? Anyway… I know some of you opt not to make any resolutions, because you believe that you won’t stick with them. As usual, you’re in the spirit of making resolutions, but after 2 months, you completely fail to keep them. And this continues year after year. Yes, I can read your mind!

Studies have found that the most popular resolutions are: 1) increasing the amount of exercises you do, 2) studying or working more seriously, 3) changing your bad eating patterns, and 4) stopping bad habits (alcohol, caffeine, and smoking). But when you reach the end of the year, people tend to take up the same resolutions as the previous years since they've often given up on them in mid-course. How can you get rid of this evil cycle? Below are a few tips which may help you in reaching your goals…

First of all, decide your own purpose or goal in life. Think about that slowly and seriously. Make realistic ones! Don’t push your body too hard. For example, if you rarely exercise, don’t force your body to exercise for 1 hour a day. Instead, 15 minutes may be a good start for your body. Does this feel too easy? Then you can add more to the program in March, for example. There’s no rule saying that you can’t change your resolutions. Besides, you should make specific goals! Don’t make a resolution such as, “I want to save money this year." Instead, you should state your real goal, “I want to save $1,000 this year."

Make your own time-table for achieving your goal. For example, to save $1,000, you can set aside $100 per month. At the end of the year, voila! You’ll have that $1,000 in your account! Wait... I think there’s $200 missing. That’s for reserve… you know that $200 may be missing due to holidays, shopping and so on… (Yeah, I can read your mind!) *g* Along with making the time-table, don’t forget to plan the exact steps of how you can reach your goal.

Well, the title says it all… Plan ahead and follow through! Look for ways that can help you in reaching the goal you've set. Find fun ways of reaching them! For example, exercises isn't always boring. Dancing with your friends can help you work your body, as well as reducing your stress levels. And don’t give up! If you fail to workout for the first month, don’t worry. Start on the new resolution the next month. Why do you need to wait until December 31 before you can make a new resolution?

It's a well-known fact that the popularity of resolutions keeps decreasing after a few months (or even weeks or… days?). So, always keep reminding yourself! You can put a post-it note on your mirror, or you can use a bracelet for each resolution and use it to remind you of your resolutions. Look for a partner. Tell him/her about your resolution. They can help remind you about your goals. Even more useful, find a partner that has a similar resolution to yours, this way you can work together and keep encouraging each other- it can help you both reach the goal!

At the end of the year, don’t forget to give yourself a reward. You can even reward yourself in the middle of year; or every time you’ve successfully reached your goal. Give yourself a day off for a vacation, or perhaps just for relaxing. A shopaholic may like to have a shopping day. The reward can be anything you like! You deserve to have it!