What’s your New Years Resolution? – Loose Weight? – Get in shape? – Quit Smoking? – Spend more time with the family? – Get your finances in order? – Get a better job? Whatever it is, you can make it happen. All you need is a plan. You need to identify your goals, create your plan and execute it. Identify Your Goals What are your goals? You should have a specific goal. If your goal is to lose weight, do you have a specific number in mind? Do you want to loose 10 pounds? 20 pounds? Or do you want to fit into size eight clothes? If you want to spend more time with family, what would that look like? “Date Night” every week? Lunch with Mom once a month? Identify what your goals are and write them down. Be as specific as possible; what is your goal and when are you going to achieve it (set a date)? Make sure your goals are reasonable and achievable. There is no use in setting goals that you know you will not follow through on. Create A Plan How are you going to accomplish your goal? What are you going to do and when? Your plan should include specific benchmarks so that you can measure progress and stay on track. Just like your overall goal, your benchmarks should be measurable and realistic. Are you going to lose five pounds/month? Get to the gym three days a week? Start with small steps that you can easily accomplish. As you accomplish your early goals, the momentum will build so that it is easier to complete tougher steps late on. As you complete each step, acknowledge your progress and reward yourself with something that isn’t going to detract from your overall goals. If your goal is to lose weight, don’t reward yourself with a candy bar for losing five pounds. Treat yourself to a movie or a new pair of shoes instead. If you don’t succeed in completing one of these steps, don’t give up; stay flexible and committed to achieving your ultimate goal. How are you going to achieve your goals? Are you going to join a gym or build one in your home with a Bowflex system? Start a Weight loss program like Weight Watchers or Nutrisystem? Identify all of the support systems that you will need. Execute Your Plan Start NOW! Don’t procrastinate. Get others involved. If you want to lose weight, find a work-out buddy or go start hiking with a friend. You will have someone to keep you motivated and you will enjoy spending the time together. Or have someone hold you accountable. If your friends know you are trying to lose weight, they help you to eat healthier with a little encouragement, or they may just give you the evil eye the next time try and order that burger instead of a salad. Just telling someone else what your goals are will also make the more real. If you just keep it to yourself, you can always change your mind and it never existed, but once someone else knows about it, it is real. Stay positive and flexible, but keep your eye on the big picture. You set the goal, it’s your plan, your life. Keep working toward on the big picture. Remember, having a New Year’s Resolution without having a plan to accomplish it is just making a wish.