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It’s that time of year again when millions of Americans, and people all over the world make their dreaded New Years resolution. Why dreaded? Studies show that the failure rate is high just after the first few months, as people return back old habits that set them back in terms of progress, before they quit all together.

If your goal is to change your life, lose weight, break addiction, or stop a bad habit like smoking, or even drinking, these simple 5 steps below will help you stick to your New Years Resolution.

1. Set Realistic Goals

Hypothetically speaking, if your plan is to lose 100 pounds in two months, you know for sure that this is an unrealistic goal. Take baby steps, and start with a mini goal of something feasible like 3 pounds a week. As time goes on, challenge yourself incrementally, and modify your goals to challenge yourself accordingly.The same goes if you are trying to switch careers, or quit smoking. Take baby steps, and do not be discouraged when there are setbacks. Setbacks are outcomes, not total failures. Pick up the pieces where you left off after you assess what is wrong, and keep moving forward.

2. Make A Plan

Now that you have your goals written down, congratulations, you are on to step number two: Make A Plan. There is that old cliché saying ‘If you fail to plan, you plan to fail,’ and it is true. You must now strategize to figure out how you are going to accomplish your goal. Buy yourself a notebook, and write down just how you plan to accomplish that goal. For example, if you are trying to stop smoking, write down and strategize just how you plan on doing that. Do you have triggers that make you smoke? Write down what they are, and create a written plan on how to avoid such triggers.

3. Take The Action

Your ready to move now. Sustainable change happens when you take consistent action to put your plan into motion. Most people will write down a goal, and make a plan, but forget this very critical and important third step. Setting a goal without taking the action is just a wish. True progress is measured only after you act. Get moving! ❤️

4. Stay Consistent

Change is instant once you decide. However, sustaining that change over a period of time is the real challenge. Forget about the worries of tomorrow, and rather focus on the now, focus on today. Stick to your plan making sure to check your progress at the end of every week. If you are not making any headway, change your plan until you get it right. It takes only 30 days or less of consistent conditioning to break any bad habit. Do not be discouraged or distracted.

5. Declare Your Goals To Friends and Family

Most people quit anything they try their hands at because there is no level of accountability. The interesting thing about us humans is that when we tell someone we are trying to change something about ourselves, they check in on us from time to time to make sure we are measuring up to expectations. Tell your friends, and tell the world for that matter about your goals for the new year. Start a Facebook page outlining your goals if you need to, and make it your mission to chronicle your journey along the way. Good friends, and family especially, will help motivate and encourage you along the way.

These are the 5 steps you can take today to leave the baggage, and setbacks of 2015 behind. Remember why you want to change. If you aren’t growing, you’re either dying or staying the same. Who doesn’t want to evolve anyways? Never quit, be patient, keep a steady hand and always record your progress.

Wishing you a Happy New Year.

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