It’s now March, and for many people, the champagne-driven, overzealous resolutions made on New Year’s Eve are nothing more than mocking reminders of how difficult change can be. Although our New Year’s resolutions are initially tackled with enthusiasm and vigor, somewhere along the line most of us falter. About 75% of people who make New Year’s resolutions fail to reach their goals. Sometimes those goals are too time consuming or difficult to attain. Other times, our goals themselves may change, as our lives move in a new direction. Regardless of why we are struggling to meet our New Year’s resolutions, there is still hope to get back on track and make those goals a reality. Here are a few tips to make some of the most common resolutions a success in 2013.
You promised yourself on December 31st that 2013 was your year to save money. You were going to put 20% of your paycheck away each month, start investing in your 401k, and cut way down on careless spending. But then your best friend invited you to Vegas, those new shoes finally went on sale, and New Kids on the Block had a reunion tour! Reign in your spending, and you just might be able to rescue your 2013 resolution to save money. Start small put 5% of your paycheck in a savings account, and another 5% in your 401k. If you don’t have a 401k, get one! It is a great way to get you saving a portion of your earnings every month to invest in your future.
Ah, the old New Year’s resolution stand-by. Losing weight, getting fit, eating healthy, and sticking to your diet are extremely popular resolutions. They are also some of the most common resolutions to quit. People often underestimate the time and discipline required to fully realize their weight loss or health-related resolutions. A mistake that many people make is going at it alone. In order to get back on track with your resolution to lose weight, get yourself a workout partner. You will be less likely to skip the gym after work, or cheat on your diet if you have someone else making you accountable. Set smaller monthly goals, rather than a year-long goal. For example, focus on losing 5 pounds per month instead of 50 pounds in a year.
It is easy to see why so many smokers in the U.S. vow to kick the habit each year. According to the CDC, smoking accounts for about 443,000 deaths per year in the United States alone. The CDC also reports that nearly 70% of smokers want to quit completely. Unfortunately, the highly addictive nature of cigarettes means an uphill battle for smokers, particularly those who choose to do it cold turkey. If your 2013 resolution to stop smoking has grinded to a halt, consider using a cessation aid such as a nicotine patch or nicotine gum. Technology can also help in form of an electronic cigarette and vapor cigarettes. For those with a taste for cigars, an e-cigar can help you quit as well.
Becoming more organized can pay multiple dividends in a person’s life, so it is no wonder so many people choose this as their New Year’s resolution. The main problem is getting started most people don’t know how. If you had the goal of becoming more organized in 2013, but your life is still a mess, there is still hope. Start by getting some type of personal organizer or daily planner. At the beginning of each week, write down any appointments, meetings, or tasks that you need to complete. When you have completed a task, make a note of it in your organizer or planner. This will provide a sense of accomplishment, and will motivate you to stay organized. Another tactic is to try and make one area of your home or office clutter-free. Again, the idea here is to start small, making sure that maintain organization in one area until you are ready to expand to a larger one.
New Year’s resolutions are difficult for most people to maintain. However, that is the whole point of making them in the first place. If your resolution goal was easy to reach, you probably would have done it already! The most important thing is staying motivated and focused on achieving your goal. Even if the New Year hasn’t started off the way you wanted, implementing some of the resolution-saving tips mentioned here can help get you back on track in 2013.