The new year is here! Are you excited, did you write down your new year's resolutions, or are you dreading the new year, because you know there will be some things in the pipeline that you do not really like? However you entered the new year - with a positive or a negative mind - New Year's resolutions are a great way to start the year, as they set the tone and mindset for the months to come.

I always set new years resolutions. I do that as part of my normal goal setting. Sometimes they are just in my mind, other times I write them down. It is much better to write them down. This way you can always get back to them, read them as a reminder. But sometimes I am lazy or too busy, and I just have them in my mind.

It is important to set New Year's resolutions, as they will be a guideline for the upcoming year. They are like goals on your way. We have all heard about why goals are so important in your life: they keep you focused, give you motivation, and help against procrastination.

Here are some tips on how to make your New Year's resolutions work:

Set small resolutions and make them easy, at least easy for the first few weeks. It's easier to start with easy resolutions and then move to harder resolutions as you have already had success with some easy resolutions.

Write your resolutions down with a reason why you would like to achieve them. First of all they will stick better, secondly you can always read them again and remind yourself of why you set that resolution in the first place.

Make the resolutions SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-related). Time related means that you set a start and an end date

Believe that you can do it

Tell others about your resolutions. You are more likely to achieve your goals when you have told others about them. You are more likely to feel responsible to achieving your goals.

Ask for help. Too often we try to do things alone, but most of the times we can get help. Ask for help!

What works for you, works. What works for one doesn't always need to work for someone else. When it comes to it, you decide for yourself what works for you. No one else can.

Anticipate challenges. Likely there will be some challenges on the way. Take a moment to think about what these challenges could be and what you could do to prevent them or to solve them.

Follow up with yourself by re-reading your New Year's resolutions on a regular basis. This may be once a week, or once a month. See what you have achieved already and what needs more work and action.

Don't be too hard on yourself. Reaching a goal means that you, or something needs to change in your life. That is not always easy. So if you derailed, get back on track or change the track.

And last but not least; celebrate your achievements! Have fun, treat yourself and give yourself a pat on the shoulder.

Oh, I hear you saying, I do sometimes have New Year's resolutions, but I tend to forget them at some stage during the year. Yes, that is what happens very often, and that is why it is better to write them down.

And are you someone that never keeps the New Year's resolutions? Give yourself some slack. At the very least you tried, unlike a lot of other people. Try again next year, or set half way year's resolutions, or simply start over today! It's a new day everyday, and we can set resolutions at any time. Or maybe your resolutions where too hard? In that case, make them easier to start with.

I also hear people saying that sometimes later in the year the resolutions no longer seem to be relevant. That makes sense, and this will happen quite often. There are all sorts of things happening in our lives. Our lives are never static, so all these continues changes in our lives may make that our New Year's resolutions are no longer relevant or important. What who says that you can't change or adapt your goals? Maybe something is far more important to you now. So go ahead and rewrite your goals

I have decided that the coming year for me is all about my health. I know that I could be a lot healthier, lose weight, exercise and eat healthy. So that will be my focus for this year.

My New Year's resolution is to lose 15 kilos, create a healthy eating and exercise plan and stick to it for 80% of the time. I have to be able to cheat now and then, so I do not aim for 100%, as I am certainly not 100% perfect as a person. I also have some other goals, but living a healthy lifestyle is my main resolution.

What are your New Year's resolutions?

With Love,

Maxima Miller

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