how to make your new year's resolutions doable!

For most people, this time of year is full of many things. New gym memberships and running sneakers, Rosetta Stone subscriptions, self-help books, and empty 2012 planners are strewn about apartments and bedrooms. Weight Watchers and "Couch to 5k" apps are being downloaded as we speak. Men, women, and children are going through their closets and drawers dividing everything into "keep," "donate," and "toss" piles. These are all wonderful things. Bettering yourself, whether it begins on January 1st or July 1st, is important and always highly encouraged!

What I find troubling is the number of people I see and hear saying things like, "I don't make resolutions because I never stick to them." This breaks my heart! Making and sticking to resolutions isn't hard; in fact, it's really very easy. I'm not an expert, but I have some tips that I'd like to share with any of you that might find difficulty in your goal-making, today and in the future.

Start out with a note pad.

• Start out with a note pad.
Find a note pad and a pen..or use an app if that's more your style. Think hard about your life. Think about yourself. What are you happy with and what would you like to change? For example: I love working on my Etsy shop, but I have a hard time working when my office space is cluttered or dirty. My productivity slows down when my desk is a mess, and it becomes a terrible downward spiral into lazy "How I Met Your Mother" marathons in my bed. I'd really like to change that. I also don't like that my jeans feel a bit tighter than they used to. Finally, I'd really like it if my savings account grew substantially in the next year. Try to think of the most important changes first, or at least number them once your done listing.

Solve your own problems.

• Solve your own problems.
Next to each goal, figure out a way to accomplish them. Be creative, yet reasonable. Ask for help--from your parents, significant other, heck, even me! Find solutions where you least expect them. I want my workspace to be more organized so I can be more productive. That means I need to completely overhaul my work systems and reorganize and minimalize my space. My jeans are tight, so I'd like to eat a bit healthier and start taking walks or bike rides during the day. As far as growing my bank account, all I need to do is budget my finances aka stop spending so much on vintage and alcohol, you crazy girl!

Give yourself a timeline.

• Give yourself a timeline.
Now that the goals and solutions are written down in order of importance, decide by when you would like each one accomplished. The income from my Etsy shop helps pay my student loans, therefore organizing my workspace is of utmost importance. I'd like to have that done within the first two weeks of the new year. Losing a few inches around the waist takes time. Also, I probably won't be wearing much else than sweatpants until about April, so this resolution should be accomplished by then. Finally, the banking goal is life-long, but for the purpose of this plan the goal should be realized by December 31st, 2012. Once you clearly outline everything that needs to be done, and by when, you'll find that it's less frustrating and actually very simple to get everything done!

Treat yo' self.

• Treat yo' self.
Encourage yourself with rewards for accomplishing goals, or even just parts of goals. You'll learn in any Psych 101 class that positive reinforcement is a powerful thing. The reward can be literally anything, from food to a nice gin and tonic, from a pair of earrings at Forever 21 to a movie date with your favorite person. Whatever it is, make sure it's something that will keep you motivated to work. For me, rewards that always work are fun times with friends or food. Never fails.

Tell the world.

• Tell the world.
Tell your friends and family. Write it down all over the place. Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, blog, MySpace, where-freakin'-ever. The more you talk about it, the more support you'll have. Also, if you tell all your friends about your goals and then quit, you'll be embarrassed, won't you? Embarrassment is quite motivating, too! ;)

On that really positive note, I'll end this post. Please leave your thoughts in the comments! Do you agree? Think I'm crazy? Want to share your resolutions? What do you struggle with when making goals? I look forward to hearing from you all! Happy New Year!

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