Ah, New Year’s resolutions: we’ve all made and lost them. This is the year that…

1. I will get thinner/fitter/happier.
2. I will do more/different work, with more clients.
3. I really will clean up the garage/bedroom/kitchen.
4. I will exercise every day… and so on.

I’m sure you’ve done this plenty of times yourself – especially at this time of year – and even carried out your resolutions for a week or two. And then I’ll bet they petered out… or your encountered too much temptation in the other direction… or circumstances changed in some way that overrode all your best intentions. Does this sound familiar?

1. Create SMART goals – that is, goals that are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-framed. Making a resolution to be happier is not something you can really achieve in any measurable sense. On the other hand, if your goal is exercising for 30 minutes three times per week, then it’s realistic and you can at least tell whether you have done it!

2. Be positive. With any kind of change, it’s always best to focus on what you do want, rather than what you don’t want. Instead of saying, “I won’t do this”, think of what you actually how you want to spend your time, or the result you want to see. For example, rather than resolving to lose weight, make it your resolution to restore your ideal weight.

3. Keep at it. Clearly it’s a challenge to change habits that we may have developed over years. NASA has determined that it takes 21 days to instill a new habit. If you miss even one day, then you have to start over! So instead of thinking of your new desirable habit as 21-day weight around your neck, work on each resolution one day at a time – if necessary, one hour at a time, or even one minute at a time. In this moment – right now – what do you choose?

4. Let good habits push out bad ones. Let’s say you want to stop smoking. Look at the times in your schedule when you usually have a cigaret – when you first get up, for instance, or after a meal – and choose some other activity instead to take your mind off smoking (or whatever habit you want to stop). See the places where you waste time and fill them up with actions that support your new goals. For example, one friend took the ten minutes it took to brew coffee, and used that time to exercise. That made a great start to his day, and he still does it!

5. Give yourself a goal that brings results that you want to see. It’s not enough to drop your bad temper, for example, when what you really want to is have better relationships with your family. Rather than stopping smoking, decide what real, observable benefits you expect to see: the ability to breathe more easily, cleaner clothes and more stamina. Instead of asessing your goal after (say) two months, check your actions every day. The small gains based on daily choices will draw you forward into what you want.

Want to make this the year you actually keep your New Year’s resolutions? Take your list, make each resolution positive, break each one down into digestible chunks, keep going for at least 21 days, and appreciate every step in the right direction. You’ll be amazed at how much your life can change!

Author's Bio: 

Dr. Kyre Adept is a human programming coach bringing spirit into business. Her practice ART of Integration helps high-flyers all over the world create their delicious lives. Find out how human reprogramming can help you soar! Sign up now for your free strategy session at http://www.ART-of-Integration.com.