5 Tips for Making and Keeping Your New Year's Resolution

ResolutionMaking a new goal can be such an exciting moment, like a fresh start! Every year I look forward to making my New Year's resolution. But I'm sure we've all had that goal that we just didn't follow through on... raise your hand if you've been there (raising hand sheepishly). So I'm going to share my top five tips on making and keeping an awesome New Year's resolution, and I'll let you in on what my resolution is going to be this year!

1. Think long term but manageable. You want to think of a goal for the new year that won't take you 15 minutes to complete. I mean, that's a task more suited for a to-do list. You can do better than that! You want a goal that's either ongoing, or difficult enough that it may take you most of the year to accomplish it. That being said, don't set your goal so high that you can't realistically manage it.

2. Create a plan, and plan to start NOW. A good resolution is one that you can map out your success to. For example, if your goal is fitness related something like 'get fit in 2012' may not be as easy to plan for as 'run a half marathon in 2012.' The second goal is something you can make a plan to achieve. Once you have your road map to success, start immediately. Don't wait until next month, or until you have more time. Make time. Do it. Go!

3. Write down your goal and display it some where you will see it. I like to write my goals in a notebook I keep by my bed. Another great option is taped up on your bathroom mirror. You don't have to display it somewhere that others will see it, only you. But you want to be reminded of your goal, and why your doing it. You are more likely to succeed if you are reminded of your resolution often. 

4. Reward yourself, and remind yourself why you made it your goal. We all like being rewarded for a job well done. So be good to yourself! If you've made some serious progress, or you are right on track with your plan after 3 months-reward yourself. Buy yourself a new dress, plan a mini trip, or even something small like a movie night out with friends. It's up to you but you are more likely to stick to your goal if you know you are going to be rewarded. Rewards are fun! Just saying. 

5. Have a way to track your progress. This will keep you going, because it's another positive reinforcement for success. For example, I currently am working on a goal to bake a loaf of bread every week (I'm trying to become a master baker.... well, a really good one anyway). I take an instagram picture with my iphone of my loaf of bread every week. That way I can look back at all my weeks of success so far. Fuels the fire. Keeps you motivated and, frankly, proud of yourself as you work to achieve your resolution.

2012 goals

So here's what I'm doing this year. My New Year's resolution for 2012 is to make one craft project every week. It may be something for my home, to wear, for my dog, to give as a gift, etc. We make a lot of DIY projects around here already, but these are going to be a little more personal to my life. Plus I spend a lot of my creative efforts toward baking and recipe development, so this will be a bit of a challenge for me. It's a little out of my comfort zone, and that's exciting! I will probably share a few of my projects with you, and I will be chronicling all 52 projects over at my Food Coma blog. How about you? Do you have any New Year's resolution plans yet? xo. Emma

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