New Year’s resolutions

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This year, I'm resolving not to make a New Year's resolution. What good can come from creating a list of my inadequacies then making unreasonable claims about changing?  "I will fit into those skinny jeans!" only sets me up for a mommy melt-down months later when those jeans taunt me from the closet and no amount of sucking in is going to get me into them. That's not to say that there isn't room for self improvement. Believe me, I have lots of areas to improve. But the key is to go easy on yourself. Moms certainly don't need more things to feel guilty about.

So, this year, set yourself up for success by making small, attainable goals rather than broad, ambitious resolutions. The chart below shows how you can translate a common New Year's resolution into an attainable goal.

Common Resolutions

1.Lose weight

2.Get out of debt

3.Save money

4.Improve grades

5.Get a better job

6.Get fit

7.Eat right

8.Get a better education

9.Drink less alcohol

10.Quit smoking

11.Reduce stress

12.Take a trip

13.Volunteer to help others

14.Be less grumpy

15.Be more independent

Attainable Goals

1.Lose two pounds per week

2.Pay off one credit card before taxes are due

3.Save $500 for a summer road trip

4.Get a B in a challenging class

5.Update and submit my resume

6.Work out 30 minutes daily

7.No more Big Macs

8.Apply for a class I'd like to take

9.No alcohol on weekdays

10.Start a smoking cessation program

11.Eliminate one thing that is stressful

12.Decide where to take a trip and call an agent

13.Volunteer every Tuesday for one hour

14.Add an activity that makes me happy

15.Sign up for a class that's just for me

~ Angela Hibbard, MOM Magazine Editor-in-Chief

Finding success

Research suggests that over half of Americans make New Year's resolutions, yet only 8% actually achieve them. Studies show that specific goal setting (lose a pound a week, instead of saying "lose weight"), making goals public, and getting support from friends increases one's chance of success.

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