Dear Kathi,

I would like to keep my New Years resolutions next year. I know that my goals will be tough to keep, but I also feel that there has to be a way to stay on track for more than a week next year.
Leslie, Cardiff by the Sea

Dear Leslie,

Your determination to keep your New Year’s Resolutions this year is admirable. Here are a few goal-setting tips to help you get started.

Don’t try everything at once. Don’t make lists and lists of resolutions. The more you make, the less you will keep. Try to make no more than five honest, sincere and realistically attainable resolutions.
When considering what goals and objectives you want to set for yourself for the coming year, remember to establish attainable goals. A resolution should be made to improve yourself either physically, emotionally or mentally. Resolutions should never be made that are based on matters out of your control.

For instance, making a New Year’s resolution that you will get married this year may not only be unattainable, but also entirely out of your control. Although you may want to get married it doesn’t necessarily mean you will meet someone to marry. The same can be said for resolutions such as having a baby or winning the lottery – these are not resolutions, they are hopes and dreams.

Word your goals carefully and make a plan. Once you know what your resolutions are, try to break it down. Nobody accomplishes anything of significance by trying to do it all at once. This doesn’t have to be a complicated agenda; just plan enough to give yourself a place to start.
Write them down. Write down your resolutions and your plan of action. Stick them up on the fridge or wherever you know you’ll see them. That way you’ll have a constant reminder of the resolutions. You may want to change the wording as time passes. It is perfectly ok to rephrase and redefine your goals as next year progresses.
At the end of next December when you reflect on the resolutions you made on January 1st, and realize that at last, you have kept all of your resolutions, you will be surprised at the sense of accomplishment, fulfilment and self-worth you will carry with you at all times.

Kathi is a professional organizer, image consultant and event planner based in San Diego California.

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San Diego Professional Organizer