By Jillian Bietz – Teens

It’s no secret that New Year’s Resolutions have become somewhat of a farce. In fact, we are almost expected not to achieve them. By February we feel defeat over failing to make good on our promises. They are discussed with an eye-roll, and “of course nots.” Don’t set yourself up to fail in 2015. It’s easier than you think.
Be Realistic. Often, resolutions are not met because they are way too extravagant or unrealistic. A goal to better yourself should never make you feel guilt. Stick too just one or two resolutions if you get overwhelmed and tend to abandon all your goals all together. Becoming more eco conscious is a big one.

Remind yourself. Get it down and out of your head. Buy a fun journal and doodle about your plans. Stick post its with encouraging quotes in your day planner or sign up for a reminder app on your cell phone. Or simply tell a friend your plans. When it’s out in the open, any procrastination or dedication becomes cognizant.

Be Specific. A vague resolution is a surefire way for it to end up undone. For example, charity work is a common resolution. Yet simply deciding to “volunteer” is a statement much to ambiguous. So be specific. Pick a cause available locally (check out volunteermatch.org, dontalmostgive.org, createthegood.org, networkforgood.org, charityguide.org, charities-charity.org, etc.). Find something convenient, doable and interesting. Be feasible about the amount of time you can give, too. For instance, plan for once a month or once a week and see how it goes.

Read something inspirational. Dr. Seuss astutely said “The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.” Perhaps encouragement will take shape in a beloved fictional character or advice will resonate through someone else’s real-life escapades.

Don’t get caught up in time limits. Contrary to the title, New Years Resolutions are usually long-term goals, not ones that only last for twelve months. Demanding self-perfection is unhealthy. Maybe the goal can be accomplished in six months or maybe it’s something you plan (or need) to attain for the rest of your life. If not, there is always next year!

 

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