How are you doing on your New Year's Resolutions?

Published January 16, 2015

There’s something about the new year that brings out the child in all of us. There’s the excitement of being on the threshold of something new, a fresh beginning, another chance to get it right. This is going to be the year. The year to put an end to all those bad habits and start some new good ones. The year I give up smoking. The year I get myself organized. The year I’m going to get my finances in order.

It always starts out great, but by the middle of January, well … does it have to wear off?

It doesn’t. Here are some ideas from Maps that will make those resolutions last well into the year. When next December comes around, you’ll feel a great sense of accomplishment knowing you set out to do something and actually completed it.

Focus. This is the key to success in every undertaking. There may be an itemized list of things you want to change, such as exercising more, eating nutritiously, paying off debts, spending more time with the family, and starting investing for retirement. If you try for everything, you’ll just end up with the same list next year. Instead, try to focus on the one aspect that is most important to you, even if it means temporarily forgetting about other resolutions you would have liked to consider. Your chance for success in that one area will be so much higher than if you attempted to take on more.

Plan. Think of the obstacles you may face and plan to overcome them. Perhaps you’re trying to lose weight and know that evenings are the hardest time to stay away from your favorite ice cream. Think of a replacement and stock up on it.

Do what it takes. Read up on what it is you’re working on, purchase anything you may need, and speak to family members to get their support. By next year, you’ll be on to another resolution. You’ll know that you followed through and can now put this one behind you.