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Getting Resolutions Back on Track

When you know what you want and why you want it, your resolutions become that much easier. The key is to find the resolutions you care about, disregard the rest, and get back up one more time than you fall.

I learned this lesson the hard way late last week. It was dinnertime and I was trying to eat light. Bad idea. Two hours later, feeling hangry, I ordered in a "real" meal—thankful that I could. Lesson learned: You can't get by for dinner on poached eggs. Eat once and make it count.

5 Tips to Get Your Resolutions Back on Track

Get clear on your why. This is where you either talk yourself into your resolution or talk yourself out of it. Your "why" is the payoff. Examples include more energy, more confidence, and better sleep. If your why is shame-based (that is, some form of beating yourself up), find a new why—or ditch the resolution.

Get specific. Let's say your resolution is to be more patient. Now translate that into a specific action. Example: "Instead of fuming at red lights, I'm going to use that time to take three deep breaths." The more specific you are, the easier it is to stay motivated and on track.

Give yourself a track to run on. If you're setting up a new milestone or a new behavior, you need the time, space, structure and tools to make it happen. Block out some time, get yourself the necessary tools, and if necessary, be willing to give something up. And don’t give up if it takes you multiple tries—anything worthwhile almost always does.

Set a timer. When motivation is low, this is the best way I know to get back on track. For example, fifteen minutes is enough time to change into workout clothes, clear your desk, or otherwise make meaningful progress. Go for it.

Track your progress. If you want almost effortless momentum, this is where you find it. And don't just track progress in your head. Keep a written list. Celebrate even small successes. That's how you turn resolutions into reality.

Finally, keep it fun. Resolutions should be challenging, yes. But at least one of your resolutions should just be just plain enjoyable. For example, on January 2nd my hairdresser told me, "One of my resolutions this year is to laugh more." Not a bad way to go through the year, the week, or the rest of today.

P.S. Need a laugh right now? Enjoy this classic clip from The Bob Newhart Show.

When you know what you want and why you want it, your resolutions become that much easier.

Gina DeLapa

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Gina DeLapa is America's Ultimate Reminders® Coach, a sought-after speaker, and the proud creator of the Ultimate Reminders® book series. Her wise and witty reminders ("Beware the organization whose response to a burning building is to form a committee") will make you laugh, stir your soul, and inspire your best. If you're not already getting her free Monday-Morning Pep Talk, be sure to sign up now at UltimateReminders.com/mondaymorningpeptalk.