I Resolve...

New Year's Eve has always been a time for looking back to

the past, and more importantly, forward to the coming year. It's a time to

reflect on the changes we want (or need) to make and resolve to follow through

on those changes.

Some common New Year's resolutions:

1. Spend More

Time with Family & Friends

2. Fit in


3. Tame the


4. Quit Smoking

5. Enjoy Life


6. Quit Drinking

7. Get Out of


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8. Learn

Something New

9. Help Others

10. Get Organized

The celebration of the New Year is the oldest of all holidays. It was first

observed in ancient Babylon about 4000 years ago. In the years around 2000 BC,

the Babylonian New Year began with the first New Moon (actually the first

visible crescent) after the Vernal Equinox (first day of spring).

The beginning of spring is a logical time to start a new

year. After all, it is the season of rebirth, of planting new crops, and of

blossoming. January 1, on the other hand, has no astronomical nor agricultural

significance. It is purely arbitrary. In case you're not into making resolutions-which is fine. Perhaps number

11 on the list.

More From Marie Claire

11. Make no resolutions for once.

A New Year's resolution is a commitment that an

individual makes to a project or the reforming of a habit, often a lifestyle change that is

generally interpreted as advantageous. The name comes from the fact that these

commitments normally go into effect on New Year's Day and remain

until fulfilled or abandoned. More socio-centric examples include resolutions

to donate to the poor more often, to become more assertive,

or to become more economically or environmentally

. The New Year resolution is one example of the rolling forecast-method of

planning. According to

this method, plans are established at regular short or medium-term time

intervals, when only a rough long-term plan exists.

1. Create a Plan

Setting a goal without formulating a plan is merely wishful

thinking. In order for your resolution to have resolve, (as the word

"resolution" implies), it must translate into clear steps that can be

put into action. A good plan will tell you

A) What to do next and

B) What are all of the steps required to complete the goal.

2. Create Your Plan IMMEDIATELY

If you're like most people, then you'll have a limited

window of opportunity during the first few days of January to harness your

motivation. After that, most people forget their resolutions completely.

(It's January 3rd already).

It is imperative that you begin creating your plan


3. Write Down Your Resolution and Plan

4. Think "Year Round," Not Just New Year's

Nothing big gets accomplished in one day. Resolutions are

set in one day, but accomplished with a hundred tiny steps that happen

throughout the year. New Year's resolutions should be nothing more than a

starting point. You must develop a ritual or habit for revisiting your plan.

5. Remain Flexible

Expect that your plan can and will change. Life has a funny

way of throwing unexpected things at us, and flexibility is required to

complete anything but the simplest goal. Sometimes the goal itself will even

change. Most of all recognize partial successes at every step along the way.

Just as a resolution isn't accomplished the day it's stated, neither is it

accomplished the day you reach your goal. Rather, it's accomplished in many

small increments along the way. Acknowledge these incremental successes as they


It's a marathon, not a sprint.

What do you think?