How to keep your New Year’s Resolutions – the ultimate guide

New Year’s resolutions – so easy to make, so difficult to keep.  Here are some powerful methods of making those New Year’s resolutions finally stick this year.

So you’ve made some New Years resolutions, and this year you plan to actually keep them past January 10. But what’s so different this year from all the other years?  There will still be temptations.  There will still be days when you lack the time.  There will still be lapses of will power.

What will make this the year that you actually keep your New Year’s Resolution?

Here are a few clever strategies that you can use – starting right now – to give yourself an unfair advantage.

New Year's Resolutions - teamwork will help you keep them.Make a plan.

For almost any major change, you need a plan.  Sure, it’s easy to say, “I’ll just change.”  But then life gets in the way, and without a plan to follow, the resolution quickly slips to the bottom of your priorities.  The plan should answer these questions…

What steps will I take? You could just go cold turkey and throw out all your cigarettes or alcohol or sweets or whatever else might be your bane. But most people prefer to go gradual and need steps to keep from slipping backward.

Am I willing to make the effort?  Effort means work.  Effort does not mean “trying”.  Effort means doing more than just trying.  Effort means making it happen.  No change is easy.  No change is comfortable.  Are you really ready to make that effort over a long period of time?

When will I do this? If the change is adding something positive, such as time with family or getting fit, you need to block off the time.  Otherwise, you’ll get to the end of the day, week or month and find that it just did not get done.

How will I be reminded? One of the biggest challenges with keeping New Year’s resolutions is staying in focus.  You need to decide the best way to keep this priority in front of your face. One option is with goal-tracking software (click on the image at the end of this post for a simple goal-tracking software you can start using today.)

What to do if I fail? There’s no shame in falling down. Shame is not getting backup again.  Every day is a fresh start, but you need a plant to reboot. What’s you get-back-up-again plan?

Shout it out.

The more people you tell and the more often you tell them, the more likely you are to follow through.  Why is this?  For two reasons.  First, the more people who know and the more recently they are reminded, the bigger your support team will be.  Your friends will be there in greater numbers and more frequently cheering you on.  But also, you will be more invested.  You will work harder to follow through on your resolutions so as to save face.

Tell friends, family members.  That is a good start.  Those are the people most likely to help you, too.

Tell work colleagues.  Once they know, you will feel much more compelled to follow through.  Losing face at work is a much bigger deal than losing face in front of close friends.

Tell social media.  Post your resolution to Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus.  Once everybody knows, you have more invested.  If you give regular updates, you will find some of your contacts to be very encouraging.

Start a blog. This is the power solution if you have a really BIG change you want to make. Now you not only are telling the world, but you are reporting to the world.  Many personal growth blogs have been started by someone chronicling their own self-improvement journeys.  Many personal finance blogs were born as part of someone’s determination to climb out of debt.

According to Enemy of Debt:

I founded EOD in April of 2008 in an effort to motivate and inspire financial discipline by focusing on behavior and truth…. My journey to debt freedom and financial independence began in January of 2008.

According to Debt Ninja:

“Maintaining a website about my financial priorities, habits, and opinions will benefit me 2, 5, and 10 years down the road as I will be reminded where I started and how far I’ve come.”

According to Girl Meets Debt:

“I also use to love shopping which is why I am writing this blog; to hopefully warn others not to make the same financial mistakes I foolishly did all through my 20s. Writing this blog will also keep me accountable and inspired to make smarter financial decisions as I enter my 30s.”

According to Yes, I Am Cheap:

I started this blog with well over $100,000 in debt after a failed business and some massive student loans.  This is my journey of getting out of it without filing bankruptcy.

According to Blond on a Budget:

“After years of swiping for anything I dreamed of owning or doing, my bad spending habits had finally caught up with me and I was left with more than $28,000 of debt to pay off. To try and stay accountable throughout my debt repayment journey, I decided to start this blog.”

According to Debt Roundup:

I created this website because I took an all too familiar journey to get out of debt.

Enlist help

Just telling people is not always enough.  Enlisting their help is often a big advantage.  Help can come in many ways.

Ask for reminders. Before you ask for a reminder, think about exactly how you want it phrased.  Often well-meaning efforts can have the exact opposite effect. “Remind me to eat less,” can end up feeling more like a nagging stress than a helpful weight loss reminder. However, “Remember you asked me to remind you not to take second helpings?” is much more helpful.  How can you be upset at someone for something they remind you that you specifically asked them to do?

Ask to remove temptations.  Asking housemates to keep sweets out of the house (or locked away in their own drawers, rather than sitting out on the counter) can help you stick to a diet.

Ask for actual help. To get fit, you might want a training spotter.  On diet, you might want someone to change the ingredients they cook with. To quit smoking, you might ask a smoker friend not to smoke in front of you.  On spending more time with family, you might ask family members to commit certain days or times to spend with you.

Offer help.

You could trade support.  I’ll support your efforts to quit smoking if you’ll support my efforts to get fit.  Often just the act of supporting someone else can make you stronger in your own efforts.  You feel more responsible and less susceptible to temptation.

Post a notice. You could post a notice at the office: “Got a New Year’s Resolution?  So do I.  Want to help support each other?”  And see who responds.

Post a very specific notice. “Want to get fit?  So do I.  Want to help support each other?”

Join a support group.  For such issues as weight loss, alcohol and drugs, fitness, smoking and such, there are support groups in most towns where the members help each other.

Pick just one.

There might be more than one thing you want to change.  Don’t try doing them all at once.  Pick one, focus on it like a Siberian tiger’s eyes zero in on an approaching rabbit, and make sure that the change is real and permanent before even thinking of making another change.

READ ALSO: The power of focusing your attention.

Remind yourself.

There are many ways you can remind yourself.  Here are just a few…

  • Sticky notes all over the house.
  • Goal-tracking software, like the one below.
  • Keep related magazines on the coffee table or in the bathroom.
  • Start a blog – that is a great way to keep yourself reminded.

Easy-to-use goal setting software…

Click here to get your copy.Easy-to-use goal-setting and goal-tracking software

Got any other reminder ideas to add? That’s what the “comments” section below is for.

So what do you say? Will this be the year that you finally keep your new Year’s resolutions?

A New Spiritual Technique – Could We Change The World?

“The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing.”
– Albert Einstein

Anybody can look out at the world these days and see some that wild times are happening, with more on the way. We could have a very chaotic time in our near future.

And with the gigantic scale of events, many of us seem be crawling back into our turtle shells, trying to be safe from the melee storming outside the window. Others wail and protest, trying to wake up the sheep to our coming peril, like the proverbial Noah whilst building his ark.

The spiritual technique that switches things around.

So what SHOULD we do about it all? What if the wildest part was, just like Dorthy and her ruby slippers, we already have inside of us an inherent spiritual technique that can change the basic situation, but we never realized it before? Not to change the entire world immediately, but to shift perspectives, to let go of the methods and ways that we have been entrenched in, but were so ubiquitous, that it was like fish breathing water.

If we look around, even inside our own lives, haven’t most of been trained to think in ways that don’t serve us? Aren’t our habits rather ineffective? And aren’t most of us rather complacent, and try to make our lives as comfortable as possible? And because of this, if we WERE to try to follow the dictate from old Einstein, wouldn’t our efforts be more like simply flailing ourselves around?

The spiritual technique that inspires us.

Just sit back now, and imagine that you had a calling, a unique purpose that opened you up. Imagine that that was possible for you, and that you had a way to connect to it. That you had a way to KNOW what it was, and then you also had a way to know the best way to make it come alive in the world.

You might find that you have to take a moment now, to imagine this, but if you could, what would that feel like? Do any spiritual techniques or practices from past centuries or current times make us feel this way? Could anything be more motivational?

So now I must ask, for I want to get feedback from you, dear reader. Do you think it would be great to discover that we are all hardwired to connect to a higher source of wisdom and guidance, but that we didn’t know how to do it before? Do you think that it is possible, and then could you see the ways you’d like your life to change?

To help answer these questions, and to read the rest of the story, go to this link:

This is a guest post by Andrew James Batha of

The Swiss Cheese Theory of Life

How to Get Through Life’s Holes and not Get Stuck in Them!

The Swiss Cheese Theory of Life is about resiliency. One of the most consistent characteristics of people who report high levels of life satisfaction and happiness is resilience: having the ability to bounce back from life’s setbacks, grow from challenges and transform stress into success.

The Swiss Cheese Theory of Life is a self-help book that will be released in mid October. This whimsical yet informative self-help book uses Swiss Cheese as a metaphor for life itself. Life is not predictable and smooth like cream cheese. Our lives are really more like Swiss with all its distinctive holes, and without the holes, there would be no Swiss! Our lives, likewise, have inevitable “holes,” and “imperfections,” yet these holes give us our unique character and depth.

It’s a fact that the larger the holes of the Swiss, the sweeter and more distinctive the cheese. What an analogy to our lives! We develop resiliency by overcoming challenges and obstacles. By moving through life’s holes rather than getting stuck in them, we become stronger.

Besides, the holes of the cheese are called eyes, so it is the holes in our lives that allow us to “see more clearly” and develop insight. Swiss Cheese with no holes is called blind Swiss – and you wouldn’t want to live with your eyes closed like this cheese in denial!

There are ten takeaways from “The Swiss Cheese Theory of Life” that can empower you and help you build resiliency skills:

  1. Fondue Can Never Turn Back into a Block of Cheese. Give up the habit of looking back with regret – there are no do-overs and by focusing too much about the past and what can’t be changed will keep you stuck in a hole!
  2. There is No Such Thing as a Perfect Slice of Cheese. Give up the need for perfection. Besides, the road to success is paved with mistakes and failures.
  3. No “Whine” with the Cheese, Please! Pity Parties are over-rated. Strive to look at things more rationally and positively. The Swiss Cheese Motto is: Think Straight and Feel Great!
  4. If the Cheese is Ripe, Dig In! Be Proactive, not Reactive! The more you feel in control of your actions and reactions, and do not “wait” for things to happen, the more empowered and effective you will be.
  5. Live ‘Whole’ Despite the Holes.  Focus on developing mindfulness and spirituality with the intent of being present-focused.
  6. Enjoy the Wine and Cheese Party! People who connect with others, give and receive social support, are happier than people who are isolated. As the old Bell Telephone commercials said: Reach out and touch someone!
  7. Be like Cheese-Lite! Develop health and wellness through exercise, healthy eating, and good lifestyle habits. Welcome wellness for a healthier YOU!
  8. Slice the Cheese Wheel of Life. Get organized, prioritize and delegate so that you can achieve a healthy lifestyle balance. Don’t let time divide you – learn to divide your time and energy in a way that makes you feel balanced.
  9. Master the Cheese Wheel of Change.  Embrace change, be flexible, and strive to be a Stress Manager and not a Stress Carrier!
  10. Smile and Say “Cheese”!

Focus on developing a positive outlook and healthy optimism, while you work on healing resentments, focusing on forgiveness, and striving to replace negativity with gratitude.
These ten areas of resiliency are important in every aspect of our lives, and embracing these delectable takeaways from The Swiss Cheese Theory of Life will give you the pungency and flavor of a complete and meaningful life!

Psychotherapists and wellness speakers Judy Belmont and co-author Lora Shor offer videos and self-tests, and book information on their website,, where you can download the first two chapters of their upcoming book. Judy can be reached at

The magic of mentoring

There are many benefits to mentoring, and some of the biggest benefits are how the mentor grows as he gives.

A couple years ago I reported the figures below, which I found on the Big Brothers / Big Sisters website.  I have no idea how these figures were determined, but they certainly are believable. A child with a mentor is:

  • Become a mentor80% more likely to finish high school
  • 46% less likely to use drugs
  • 27% less likely to use alcohol
  • 52% less likely to skip school

The website also reported on numerous other happy benefits of mentoring, which really is an exercise in community-building at the micro level.  Mentoring is an investment, not a cost.  It’s an investment in helping the mentored grow and reach his full potential, and it is equally an investment in helping the mentor grow – because there is so much potential in the mentor waiting to burst out, as well.

That’s right, you grow at least as much by mentoring as by being mentored.  You learn valuable leadership skills that you can’t learn through books or courses; leadership is learned only by doing.  You learn management skills, similar to leadership skills in many ways, and also learnable only by doing.  You learn problem-solving skills, because you are helping the mentored person solve his problems.  You learn interpersonal communication skills, too, which is pretty obvious.

Most of all, you learn to give of yourself.  This is not a skill, so much as a virtue.  It is what makes each of us a better person, when we help someone else, and that is something as important as any skill we can learn.  After all, why do we exist if not to help each other?

It has been said that when we reach a hand out to help someone else, to pull someone else up, we lift two people with that one arm.  Talk about miracles!