How To Keep New Year's Resolutions: 5 Tips To Make Lasting Changes In 2014

 @TreyeGreen t.green@ibtimes.com
on January 04 2014 4:41 PM
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It's a new year and time to get serious about sticking to all those resolutions you've set for 2014. Reuters

As you enter the New Year once again, it’s time to commit to a fresh round of resolutions.

Whether it be working out more often or cutting back on social media, embracing the new patterns needed to accomplish our resolutions can at times be a challenge. Shaking old habits is not the easiest task. But with a great deal of dedication and employing a few of the tips below, you will be well on your way to sticking to whatever personal goals you've set for 2014.

1. Make A Vision Board

One of the most beneficial ways to stay motivated about your resolutions is to literally see your goals each day. A vision board is easy way to visualize your aspirations for the year and where you hope to see yourself in the future. So grab a couple of old magazines or books and cut out photos, quotes and whatever else might embody your mission for the year. You can get as creative as you like since this is your personal project to keep you encouraged while making your life changes. 

Place the completed board in a prominent place that you'll see it each day -- maybe your bedroom or beside your bathroom mirror. It's the perfect way to keep those resolutions fresh in your mind throughout the coming year. Here are some great vision board inspirations here

2. Use The Buddy System

If you have a friend or family member that has a similar resolution as you, you can easily double team on those goals for some added support. You'll both benefit from having someone to confide in when you're tempted to side step. Plus, it will be even more fulfilling to know that you both helped each other endure the tough times and inevitable temptations. So call up your best friend or favorite cousin and make a pact to take on 2014 together!

3. Write It Out

Keeping a daily journal is another helpful way to keep track of your progress each week with your new goals. Use it to recap your accomplishments for the day or week, and to focus on any areas where you might be able to improve. Describing your thoughts about the changes you are witnessing is also a valuable exercise. You can use your words as a motivator if you hit a snag later in the year or just need an extra boost of encouragement as you are starting out. 

And remember, there is no hard-and-fast rule about when to write in your journal. You can do it in the morning before your workout or after you've finished your tasks for the night. Just keep it consistent and feel free to put all of your worries, concerns and triumphs in its pages. 

4. Hold Yourself Accountable

It's completely up to you to stick to any resolutions you make. So it is crucial you don't let things slide by -- especially when you are first attempting to start new habits. Take it week by week as you try to change your habits. And lifestyle coach Ellie Kay stresses that it is crucial to keep your routines as conistent as possible during the first 21 days. "Habits drive our lives," she told CBS. "It takes 21 days to change your thoughts and start to develop a new habit. It's the 21 days that kill you."

Your resolution buddy can also be an additional resource in helping you remain focused and encouraged while also making sure you stick to what you want to accomlish. 

5. Don't Forget To Enjoy The Journey

Each year we set resolutions with the larger goal of becoming our best selves possible. And there is a great joy that can come in challenging our set patterns and stepping out of what we are comftorable with doing. Remember to have fun with the process. And even if you fall short or lose sight for a bit, every day is a new chance to give your resolution another go.

Give yourself a designated cheat day if you're attempting to eat healthier. Replace your normal social media binge with an entertaining book instead. There are numerous ways to keep your journey engaging while remaining dedicated to making positve changes to your life. 

Here's to your best year yet!  

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