How to succeed at your New Year's resolutions this year

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If you want to lose weight, exercise and change your diet; if you want to buy something extravagant or go on holiday, save and budget. Dig deep and learn about the things that make you happy or sad, and you might just find it helps you focus on what's important.

The opposite is also true, said University of Scranton psychology professor John C. Norcross, who has studied resolutions for decades. Better yet, ask yourself if you remember any of your close friends' resolutions.

But, he said if your resolutions aren't working out as planned, don't be so hard on yourself.

Year after year, however, people insist on encouraging them.

It's better to set a modest goal, say five pounds by Valentine's Day, and be stoked when you succeed.

Avoid resolutions that sound great but are unattainable.

Know how much money you make and write that down. "There's an terrible lot of stress lingering from the holidays, you still have to take down holiday decorations; you still have to pay bills associated with the holidays so, you might pick a slightly later time, when things are a little more tranquil". Hate apples? Don't pick apples.

To exercise more, you might want to run more. Do it after work. "I want to get into the water with a great white shark". It's ok to experiment and stop doing things you don't like. So how do you go about saving more? But don't let the occasional missed exercise class or Friday workplace donut throw you off course, explained Norcross. Intentions are small vows for increasing awareness toward the areas of your life that warrant more attention. Actions like this are easy yet leave a lasting impression on young swimmers who look up to you.

Wake up by setting your own alarm clock for practice instead of relying on your parents to wake you up.

And if you do slip?

After suffering two concussions in relatively quick succession from playing rugby, Nazra Noushad was looking for a noncontact athletic challenge to get herself back in shape.

Some people like to set resolutions that will get them stepping out of their comfort zones. They cost $6 now. If you want to be able to run a 5K, you'll need to find the right time to train for it. Being aware of your own limitations can help you set realistic goals. If you are not eating a healthy diet and eliminating everything you can that you know isn't healthy for you, going to the Y, taking that evening walk etc. will be far less effective.

Then prove it to yourself with small wins over time. For example, you can make it a habit to, every night when you get home from work, rain or shine, jump on an exercise bike (the one now serving as a clothes rack) for 20 minutes. To make sure that one actually reaches the goal, one must be practical and set specific targets. So can joining a gym with friendly competition or a group like Weight Watchers.

May I learn to grill ideal steaks on our outdoor patio grill without the need for my meat thermometer.

"I hope for people showing more respect for each other", he said.

Rubin is going to try to visit the Metropolitan Museum of Art every day she's home in Manhattan, a few blocks from the museum.

At the beginning of this year I made a New Year's resolution to lose 10 kilograms.

Another interesting nugget of information from Wikipedia notes that on New Year's Eve in 1862, many slaves in the United States gathered in watch-night services in churches to await the Emancipation Proclamation signed by President Abraham Lincoln to take effect on January 1, 1863, thereby giving them their freedom.

Don't complain about how hard practice is, embrace the burn as a means to fulfill your objective. "If what you say and do don't match, a teenager will notice and call you on your hypocrisy". It comes at a time when people look back at the past year and make an effort to improve themselves as the New Year begins.

Next, change one behavior at a time.

Barbara Fitterer-Zitz (Henry County): "I haven't even thought of one ..." And you can, too.

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