The solution to resolutions

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The new year is just around the corner, and with it will doubtlessly come countless resolutions.

Within weeks or even days of the ball dropping in Times Square, however, many will already have broken their resolve and will be setting their resolutions aside until 2009.

So what’s the secret to reading that book, losing those love handles or "laying off the sauce" while everyone else is throwing in the towel? Here are a few suggestions:
For starters, if you have a goal in mind, make a list of all the things you’ll need to do to accomplish it. For instance, if you want to lose a little bit of extra weight above your belt, you’ll need to start jogging and doing some torso-twisting exercises.
 You may also need to cut back on the pizza and Coke.

Use your list to make smaller goals that will help you achieve your main goal, and put them into action. By accomplishing smaller goals one by one, you will be able to see your progress, giving you the motivation to continue working toward your ultimate goals.

Post your goals somewhere you will always see them. Tape them on your bedroom wall so you can see them when you walk in, or on the bathroom mirror so you can look them over as you brush your teeth.

When you look at your list, try to envision accomplishing your goals and what it will feel like to achieve them. It sounds corny, but it helps.

Lastly, reward yourself. When you meet one of your smaller goals, treat yourself to something good. Just be careful you don’t overindulge in a habit you’re trying to break.

Celebrating your first sugar-free week by gobbling down an entire box of See’s candy would be a bad idea, but take the money you would have spent on those chocolate confections and go see a movie.

Worthwhile goals are hard to achieve, but with determination, they are achievable.

So padlock the fridge, pull out the textbooks and put on the running shoes. A whole new year full of resolutions is waiting.