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Let’s Start the New Year Right

In 2012, I’m sticking to my New Year’s resolutions. Are you?

It’s the same story every year for me. On December 31, I sit at my kitchen table and compose a list of things I’d like to accomplish in the new year. At that time, I’m pumped and eager to start the new year, because I have places to go and people to see.

But by mid-February, I usually run out of steam. One by one, the resolutions fall by the wayside as I give up and move on to something else. Usually, my excuse is “I’m bored,” or maybe I realize the goal is too much on my plate right now.

I know that I’m not alone, as many people tend to give up on their new year’s resolutions not long into the year. Somewhere between Jan. 1 and March, people start thinking a goal is unattainable because it’s too much work.

This year, I’m doing something different. Instead of vague resolutions, like “I want to lose weight” or “I want to read more books,” I’m devising plans. I’m changing my food habits and planning to exercise more, and I am creating schedules to help me read more and finish my other projects. The structure is something I’ve realized I need to attain my goals.

I also plan to do something rather daring: Have my husband make a resolution for me. In a recent article in the Wall Street Journal, Elizabeth Bernstein reports of couples, friends and family members who go all-out and think of goals for each other. After all, Bernstein writes, it’s loved ones who can hold us accountable if we slip up on our resolutions.

And as points out, we need a good support network if we want to succeed, and especially if we want to stick to our New Year’s resolutions.

To paraphrase one of Bing Crosby's songs, let’s start 2012 right.

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