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4 Alternatives To New Year's Resolutions

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- New Year's resolutions can be tough to keep. Studies show only 8 percent of people actually keep them. So why not try something new this year? Twin Cities blogger Jasmine Stringer shared with WCCO four alternative ways to establish goals and live a more fulfilling life in 2015.

  • Word of the Year
    1. Create a one-word guidepost, overall theme or mantra for 2015.
    2. Your Word of the Year should:
      • Be personal and related to what you want to do, accomplish, achieve, experience or become in 2016,
      • Be ONE word,
      • Be clear.
  • Letter to Self
    1. Write yourself a letter from your future self, dated Jan. 1, 2016.
    2. Imagine looking back at 2015, from a place of having achieved your most important goal(s) for the year.
    3. Thank yourself for all you did to achieve your goals and be specific.
    4. Or give yourself some compassionate advice from your wiser, 2016 self.
  • Vision Board
    1. Creative way to visualize what you want to accomplish in 2015.
    2. Can have much information as you want (e.g. Home Projects, Experiences, Vacations, Health Goals, Fitness Goals).
    3. Varying formats: Can be done as a bulletin board, electronic board on Pinterest or scrapbook.
  • Shorter Goals
    1. Committing to do something for an entire year can be very daunting. Instead, make tiny, successive resolutions, all the way through the year.
    2. Break goals with an overall theme down into smaller timelines (e.g.  I want to be healthier in 2015; I will accomplish this goal by walking at least 10, 000 steps a day during the month of January; not drinking alcohol during the month of February; working out at least 3 times a week in March; etc.).
    3. Breaking goals down into smaller timeline will create a greater since of accomplishment because it allows one to complete more goals.

Tips for achieving your newly created goals in 2016

    1. Schedule what you want to accomplish (e.g. schedule your weekly workouts). If you want to read more books in 2015, block some time on your calendar to read weekly.
    2. Be realistic. If you haven't worked out in the past 6 months, the likelihood that you are going to start running every day is very slim. Don't set yourself up for failure. Instead of saying "I'm going to cut of soda," wean yourself off of your three-sodas-per-day habit by decreasing your daily and weekly intake until you are no longer drinking soda.
    3. Celebrate your accomplishments.
    4. Give yourself a mulligan. In golf a mulligan is a "do-over." Hit a bad shot? Take a mulligan and replay that stroke. So if you slip in trying to accomplish your goals for 2015, give yourself a mulligan and start again.

    Jasmine also says she's not a fan of starting a goal in January when were all still fatigued from the holidays. She recommends taking some time to really think about the changes you want to make and maybe start in the spring.

    Read more about these ideas on Jasmine's blog.

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