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A Plan to Persevere in 2010

It's the second week of a new decade and like the many, many Januarys before, the number of gym memberships will be up. Motivation will be strong, sweat will drip and we'll be feeling good. As a matter of course the end of February will be upon us and participant numbers at Zumba and fitness boot camp classes will diminish, treadmills will stand idle and another New Year's resolution to be more active will be deflated.

But this isn't the case just at the gym. We make an overflow of resolutions like saving more cash, volunteering within the community or picking up a new book, just to fall into December without accomplishing any of them. It only makes sense that we all want to do something that will improve our lives, but the number of resolutions going unanswered are abundant because we all have our own little voice that tells us, "it's ok not to do it today" and "go ahead and give in; you can make up for it down the road."

It doesn't matter what your resolutions are for 2010, it's the start of your new decade and sitting there reading this today, you are driven to achieve them. So before ambition escapes, take these few extra steps for planning and make sure you can follow through on at least one goal for 2010.
  1. Grab a pen and paper, open a blank word processing document or have a voice recorder ready. You are going to record all of these so that you have a way to go back and check your progress and stay on course.

  2. Identify your overall goal - You have an idea of what you want to achieve, but the more specific you can be, the better. Want to have enough money for a vacation next summer? Set a dollar amount. Want to maintain a healthy weight? Then you need to identify what that healthy weight is. It should be written in pounds, kilos, body fat percentage, BMI, etc. and not "I want to weigh what I did at 21."

  3. List three or more objectives - Think of these as rungs on a ladder that will help you climb to the top and to your goal. Each objective should have a realistic, measurable feat and a date for when you want to reach it. For finishing a new novel, your objectives could be to read a set number of pages by the end of every month. Writing out each objective keeps your progress on track and breaks the big picture in your mind down into achievable bits. This will also help keep your satisfaction and that high of accomplishment up as you meet and exceed your set objectives.

  4. Accountability and support - We all need a little help and a little extra discipline at times. This is where you're going to pick a few people who will keep you in line and provide a little boost when you stray from the path. Friends, family, coworkers, and neighbors, they all can help you conquer your resolution. Share with them what you would like to achieve and they'll be more than happy to see you succeed.

  5. Have a pat on the back ready - You're going to be committed to this resolution and looking forward to that feeling of achievement when it's completed, but that doesn't mean a little payment during the process is out of the question. Choose something that you will reward yourself with for achieving each objective you listed in number three. Your hard work needs to be rewarded.

  6. Ignore the rest - It's far too easy to compare yourself to those who surround you and lose that clout that you have when on your own. Remind yourself that these are your goals, your journey. Believe it or not, many of those who we are intimidated by would like to see us achieve our goals too. Use them as a motivator, not a competitor.

  7. Begin - Now that the planning is done, close your eyes and look at the back of your eyelids. Envision yourself on December 31, 2010. It's complete, you've done it. You're proud, confident and ready to lay the first brick of a 2011 resolution that you know you can meet. Whenever you feel like your resolution is slipping, just close your eyes and see the finish line.

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