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Keeping Your New Year's Resolutions... And Your Sanity

Aug 17, 2007
Simply put: holidays are a time of indulgence. We eat more food, buy more stuff, see more people. It's easy to get caught up in the snowflakes and tinsel and make somewhat unrealistic New Year's resolutions only to become so frustrated that we put away our resolutions along with our fruitcakes and mistletoe and only bring them back out when the next New Year rolls around.

The "holiday spirit" is an elusive beast, spreading goodwill and festivities for only a short while. Once he flees, we're often left only with the guilt of overindulgence, too much eggnog, and a lofty plan to really change for the better this year.

But how do you make it from Point A (the current reality of a somewhat post-jolly state) to Point B (the next New Year with last year's resolutions neatly checked off one by one)?

Think of your resolutions as a year-long to do list. Buy a calendar and write reminders and motivations for each of your tasks. You don't have to tackle them all at once, but you don't want to have to add more to the list halfway through, so you work smarter. Just make sure the goals you set are realistic or you will get frustrated and call it quits.

Now let's take a look at some typical resolutions and valuable resources that can help you stick with it. Because we all know that this year will be the year that you keep those resolutions.

1) Lose Weight and Get in Shape! Remember to celebrate your progress throughout the year. You will stay encouraged if you realize the small victories as well as the large ones. Here are some (free) online publications that can help:
-http://www.accessmylibrary.com/coms2/browse_JJ_B044 Better Nutrition
-http://www.accessmylibrary.com/coms2/browse_JJ_W057 Women's Health Weekly
-http://www.accessmylibrary.com/coms2/browse_JJ_H006 Health News

2) Read More. Read Better. You don't have to pay for newspaper or magazine subscriptions when you can read these items for free online. Some suggestions:
-http://www.accessmylibrary.com/coms2/browse_JJ_T340 The Sporting News
-http://www.wikihow.com/Develop-an-Appreciation-for-Reading WikiHow: Develop an Appreciation for Reading
-http://www.accessmylibrary.com/coms2/browse_JJ_B078 Booklist

3) Volunteer to Help Those Less Fortunate. Throughout the holidays the media bombards us with stories of the poor and hungry and for a few fleeting weeks these people are on our hearts and minds. Remember that people are in need all year long, not just when it's convenient to think about them.
-http://craigslist.org/ Craigslist (look for your city and then check for volunteer opportunities)
-http://www.wikihow.com/Find-a-Community-Service-Program WikiHow: Find a Community Service Program
-http://www.wikihow.com/Change-the-World-in-10-Ways WikiHow: Change the World in 10 Ways

4) Knock the Wardrobe Up a Notch. Let's face it; those stone-washed, pleated, tapered-leg jeans just aren't as hip as they used to be and that size 2 skirt in the back of your closet isn't getting any bigger. Don't be afraid to do some tossing (a good rule of thumb: if you haven't worn it in a year, get rid of it) or if the clothes are in good condition, donate them to Goodwill or a local charity (find a Goodwill near you: http://locator.goodwill.org).
-http://www.accessmylibrary.com/coms2/browse_JJ_A045 Allure
-http://www.accessmylibrary.com/coms2/browse_JJ_S233 Style
-http://www.accessmylibrary.com/coms2/browse_JJ_V011 Vogue

5) Fall in Love. Books have been written, movies have been made, wars have been fought. Enough said.
-http://www.wikihow.com/Get-a-Girl-to-Fall-in-Love-with-You WikiHow: Get a Girl to Fall in Love with You
-http://www.wikihow.com/Have-a-Real-Love WikiHow: Have a Real Love
-http://www.wikihow.com/Love WikiHow: Love

True, it's hard stay motivated when facing 365 days of trials and tribulations. But with the right resources and some willpower, you can at least hope to set attainable, realistic goals.

Now hop to it! You're keeping those resolutions, remember?
About the Author
Laura Watkins is a contributing business writer for ECNext works exclusively with information publishers who create business news, reference data and market research and financial analyst firms who publish reports and other valuable content.
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