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You’re starting the second full week of the new year and hopefully you’re still working toward your 2014 resolutions. Whether it’s losing weight – the number one resolution – saving money or getting organized, it’s important to keep aiming for your goal.

Imagine the sweet reward of how pleased you’ll be once you accomplish what you set out to do. According to experts, even though your goal might be to lose weight, that isn’t actually your ‘real’ goal. You really just want be happy and healthy.

Remember, it takes 3 weeks to rewire your life to turn a new habit into a regular routine. If you’re having just a wee bit of trouble maintaining these new ways, here are 5 tips to keep motivated.

Focus – You may have picked several things to accomplish this year. But you can’t do everything at once. Each goal should have several smaller parts to it. Narrow them down to one thing at a time – like how many days you’ll work out – before giving up that you haven’t lost 20 pounds already.

Be positive – Keep your thoughts constructive. Instead of thinking negatively like you feel deprived that you’re not eating French fries at lunch anymore, think about how refreshed you feel after you eat a nutritious and healthy salad instead.

Keep a good pace – If you’ve been addicted to sweets for years, don’t think that just making your resolution is going to keep you from thinking about your favorite dessert. Actually, if you’ve quit cold turkey, you’re probably thinking about it even more. If you find that all you do is dream about that sweet thing you’re missing, consider having just a bite or two – or pick one day a week when you can satisfy your sweet tooth.

Ask for help – It’s not easy to make a lifestyle change. Sometimes you need to share what you’re going through with someone else. If you have a close friend who you can really talk to, chat with them about your struggles. Consider what your resolution is, as well. If it’s losing weight, maybe you want to join a support group. If it’s running a marathon, train with a friend or co-worker who has the same goal in mind.

Celebrate – You’re creating major changes in your life and you need to recognize that you’re making progress. Reward yourself after you’ve hit a milestone. If your resolution was to eat less, don’t reward yourself with a big feast. That will just counteract the progress you’ve made. Once you’ve hit a milestone – even a minor one – buy yourself a new outfit or get a new hairstyle. Being good to yourself will inspire you to want to keep working toward your goals.

No matter how you’re struggling to keep your resolutions, remember, be kind to yourself. Your previous bad habits didn’t happen overnight and you’re certainly not going to overcome them that fast either.

Be practical and patient with yourself. Remember, you’re not trying to punish yourself for something you think you’ve done wrong. You’re reinforcing your positive actions so these new habits become everyday behavior down the road.


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