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The Best Way to Make New Habits Stick Is…

…to incorporate them when your entire schedule and life is changing!

Well, I think any time is a good time to put new habits in place. But, new habits are much easier to incorporate when your schedule is changing anyway. Because if you put these new habits into place immediately, they’re easier to stick with than if you try to wedge them into an established schedule later.

 

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I knew that leaving my corporate job for self-employment was the perfect time to create some new habits, since they would automatically become part of my new schedule. And I knew I didn’t want to waste this perfect opportunity!

I showed you my morning schedule, but truthfully I wasn’t being as consistent as I would like with all of them while still in corporate. But now I am!

The secret to incorporating a new habit into your day is setting aside dedicated, uncompromised time for each activity, otherwise there will never be space for them.

So, before I left corporate, I wrote out a new schedule for myself. I sketched in work time, lunch breaks, naptimes, babysitting times, and time for some new habits.

 

I decided I needed to dedicate time for:

  1. Spirituality: God is the center of my life, but I wasn’t really being true to that. So, I decided to make dedicated time every morning for devotions and prayer. I typically read the daily devotion from Proverbs 31 ministries. Sometimes I journal on the message. Sometimes I meditate on the message. But whatever the message is, I try to bring it with me throughout the day.
  2. Journaling: I wrote about this practice extensively in my journaling post. (You gotta check it out!) I’ve learned that journaling is THE secret to moving myself and my business forward. Reaffirming my goals and objectives every single day seems to bring them into focus much easier. Also, I just get really excited about journaling, so it’s really easy to get out of bed in the morning. If my mood turns sour, I know a better mood is just a journal entry away. And no, I’m not talking about “dear diary” baloney either. If you read the post, you’ll know what I’m talking about.
  3. Tithing: From the very moment I opened up a new Google Sheet to track my income and expenses, that I wanted to make room for tithing. That way, it was already taken care of and I didn’t have to think about it again. So, that’s what I did. I made columns on my spreadsheet for taxes and tithing. I take those percentages out automatically.
  4. Lunch break celebration: Every day, I whip open my office door, blast Rebel Beat by the Goo Goo Dolls (my new theme song), and dance with my daughter at lunch. It’s a signal for my 2-year-old daughter that it’s lunch time, but it’s also a fun daily tradition that makes lunchtime a little more special for us. I can’t wait until summer break so my son can celebrate lunch every day with us too!
  5. Move once an hour: my Fitbit is changing my life. I don’t say that to be trite. It really stinkin’ is! One of the ways it’s helping me with my health habits is with its hourly vibration to get up and get moving. It literally vibrates when you’ve been sitting for an hour. That’s an excellent trigger for me to get up and get moving once an hour, like I’ve always intended to do, even in corporate. So, on cardio days, I’ll typically get up and jump rope for a minute every hour. On leg day, I might get up and do some jump squats. On arm day, I might do 10 pushups. You get the picture. It helps re-energize my body, warm me up (it’s still chilly in WI), get my blood moving, and burn a few extra calories. I might start posting my daily moves on Instagram, if you’d like to follow along.
  6. Sit on my exercise ball: I don’t often sit on my exercise ball, but when I do…I practice much better posture. So, in corporate, we weren’t allowed to sit on exercise balls because it was considered a safety hazard. But, as part of the corporate wellness team, we were always looking for ways like that to change people’s sitting habits. Well now, in my home office, I can do what I wanna. And I like being able to sit on my exercise ball. I have a platform for my laptop that puts it at just the right height too. Me likey.
  7. Flexibilty goalz: So, for as long as I can remember, I’ve been writing down a few flexibility goals. The kind I haven’t followed through on. Until now. So, one of my goals is to be able to clasp my hands behind my back, one over the shoulder and the other behind my lower back. The other goal is crow pose. So now, once a day, when I get up for my hourly moves, I practice those two moves. I hold my jumprope to stretch my arms behind my back. I can’t wait until I can announce that I’ve nailed it!

man stretching shoulders

I totally fail this shoulder mobility test!

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Source

 

Make your habits stick by making them meaningful

To make new habits stick, they should also hold personal meaning. These goals are actually very important to me, otherwise I wouldn’t make room for them in my schedule. It’s important to have a strong enough “why” behind these habits to actually put them into practice. If you want to put new habits into place too, you need to make sure they’re not just “would be nice” goals. They should be “change my life” goals. They need to have personal meaning, otherwise they’re not worth it.

These are just a few more examples of how we can make an effort to be:

~Better Every Day

 

How about you…

Have you ever been successful putting new habits into place? What is your best piece of advice?

Kids’ Entrepreneur Series: Vision Boards

Kids Vision Board

One of the first things Kayne and I did for our Kid’s Entrepreneur Series was make vision boards.

I just love making vision boards, don’t you?

I’m a visual person, so I like to see my goals in color, in different fonts, in pictures.

And I wanted my son to have a clear vision of what we were working for. It’s not just to make money for money’s sake. We set goals for a reason.

Otherwise, what’s the point of having a business and making money?

Here are the final products:


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Mine’s all “Do work that matters” and “Let’s find our way with words” and “Let’s elevate the moment” and “for the love of leaves” with Scripture dead center.

Meanwhile, Kayne’s is all tractors and girls and dogs.

It cracks me up a little. Clearly he’s a boy and I’m a girl. And clearly there’s a value difference.

We’re still working on the materialism with him.

But I think the main point here, the main point of creating vision boards, is to set goals and to give yourself something to work toward. To give real visible life to your dreams. To provide motivation.

For a good half of my life, at least, I never really sat down to figure out what I wanted. I didn’t know what to “want.” I didn’t really know I had permission to “want.” Now, they are the driving force of so much that I do!

All of my “wants” are pretty abstract and value driven, but they are very clear and this vision board so perfectly represents them.

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I want my son to dream. And pursue dreams. Right now they are to “have a girlfriend,” “being rich,” “having 100 cats and 100 dogs,” and “be a rockstar like Dierks Bentley.” And apparently…tractors. Who didn’t have those kinds of dreams when they were 8?

It’s an exercise in dreaming as big as you want to.

I’m still working on “values” with him. We’re learning about setting aside money to give back and being generous. We’re also learning about how much work it takes to build a business. We’re learning about practical money saving ideas. Not everything can be about fast cars and girls (sorry guys!).

This is such a fun, eye-opening project to try with the kids. It’s a great way to get their imaginations going and start creating some goals with them. It’s also an illuminating project for you to do alongside them to bring your own goals into vision.

Here’s something to distract you. This Pinterest board is all things Vision Boards if you really want to get into it.

So, let’s hear it…

When’s the last time you created a vision board? Did anything stand out to you?

4 Golden Nuggets from Pumping Iron

So, I was just listening to a Livestream which led me to Youtube which led to me watching the entire 1977 documentary Pumping Iron with Arnold Schwarzenegger.

The movie follows Arnold and several other bodybuilders to the Mr. Olympia stage as Arnold defends his 6th title as Mr. Olympia.

There’s not a lot of talking during this movie and an exorbitant number of camera shots of ripply muscles. But that’s what makes the words that are said in the movie that much more potent.

I don’t see any of these quotes as just being about bodybuilding, they’re about mindset in general. They’re golden nuggets that can apply to all facets of life and every goal set. Here is a man who knows exactly what he wants, to the letter, and then makes them happen. He does not wait for any of his dreams to come to him.

He makes them happen.

Here were a few things he said that really stuck out to me:

 

I Don’t Have Any Weak Points

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  1. Arnold just matter-of-factly states this in the movie. He’s so completely self-assured. The confidence comes off as arrogance to some, but I can see through that to the no-holds-barred mentality. He’s just got that mindset of, I’m the winner, and he completely embodies it, so he gets it. That is all.

Your turn: think about a goal that you have and what it would look like to reach that goal. Embody the persona of that person and watch how your goals start materializing from that place of complete certainty.

 

I Only Dreamed of Coming to America, and Being the Greatest, and Just Being Different Than Everybody Else

Pumping Iron quote Arnold: being different than everybody else

2. Arnold knows that he’s made for something bigger, something different than the norm and he lives it out. That tunnel vision and channeled determination turned him into the multi-talented actor/bodybuilder/politician that he is, in America. Everything he said he wanted to be, he made happen.

Your turn: do you know that you’re meant to be different than everybody else? Are you living your life in a way that keeps you honest to that?

 

I Called My Mother Already Yesterday and I Said I Won

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3. Arnold called his mom the day before the competition and told her that he won and she said congratulations. His winning was non-negotiable. He had already stepped into the champion identity and claimed it as his own. And win, he did.

Your turn: take your goal and visualize yourself achieving it. Really experience it with all your senses and state out loud that “I won.” Then, continue on your way as though it’s already happened.

 

You Cannot Have Any Kind of a Negative Outside Force Coming In and Affect You

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4. Arnold admits that when he’s in competition mode, he can’t be bothered by anything other than the competition, even if his car were to get stolen in front of him. That laser focus and pruning of negative energy gives Arnold a direct route to success.

Your turn: If you’re headed toward a goal, don’t spend any time on all the things in your way. Just keep your eye on your final destination and find your way through the obstacle course until you get there.

 

I just find this whole thing fascinating. Arnold just knows, believes and visualizes his successes and he achieves them! He does a few questionable things in the movie by messing with his competitors by giving them bad advice and the “I already won” and “you’re not ready speech,” which I don’t agree with. But his laser-focused mentality is something we could all learn from. So much more I could say about this, but I’ll just leave it here.

 

How about you?

Have you ever watched Pumping Iron? What are your thoughts on the Arnold Schwarzenegger mentality?

Change Your Life On Your Lunch Break: The 30 Day Push

30 Day Push Chalene Johnson

Hey #flashers,

Welcome to my second installment of Change Your Life On Your Lunch Break. This series is about small steps you can take every day to change your life. Big changes come from making small incremental changes over time, and your lunch break just happens to be the ideal length of time to make those changes!

If you normally scarf lunch at your desk while trolling Facebook, might I suggest using that chunk of time to reinvent your life instead?

Yes 30 minutes is enough time for a reinvention!

Today, we’ll be talking about a program that I recommend to soooo many people because it’s free and it’s a game-changer and it applies to absolutely everyone (unless your goal is to live a mediocre life, then click away).

The 30 Day Push, by Chalene Johnson

Chalene Johnson is the same woman that started the TurboJam/TurboFire empire and who is a personal development personality extraordinaire. Click on over to 30daypush.com and sign up for the free 30-day series.

What this program is about is to-do lists. And before you start snoring, let me tell you that this is no ordinary to-do list-making. It’s about finding your purpose in life, using your values as your compass, and reverse engineering your big goals into small things you can do every day to reach them.

chalene johnson's 30-day push

 

Sounds familiar right? Kinda like the premise of this ENTIRE Change Your Life on Your Lunch Break series! Changing your life in 30 minute increments is absolutely possible. You just have to be more intentional about how you use your bits of pieces of time.

Now listen, you can actually do this entire program on your lunch breaks over the course of 30 days. The entire thing. Each day for 30 days, you’re given a very short video. Some days there’s a worksheet or a small action step you can take to implement the concepts from the video. When I am fully using this system, I get sooooooooo much more done in a day than if I just leave my days to chance.

Let me tell you, this program is completely worth it. It changed my entire thinking around big goals that I was too afraid to go after. And I refer back to this program often. Once you’ve gone through the 30-day program, you have full access to all the videos so you can repeat it as many times as you want or revisit parts that you want to give more thought to.

Click over there and get started today. There’s no reason to wait until Monday or the New Year or some other arbitrary date.

BTW, I have no affiliation whatsoever with Chalene or this program. I just love it so much and it gave me such great insight that I can’t help but share it.

Did you sign up? What are your thoughts about Day One?

Do You Leave Things Better in Your Wake?

Better Every Day Quote

When Hubster and I bought our first house, it was in a bit of disarray from the people who left. The upstairs carpet was just…beyond. The doors were horrible, like literally one of them fell apart at the hinges. The walls were marred by crayon hand prints and the like.

But the structure was sound. All the problems above? Were just superficial and easily fixable. That’s how I knew that house was perfect for us. I could see through the superficial to the underlying structure.

So, the first thing we did was hike up our pants and got to work, painting walls, installing carpet and brightening up the entire place. Over the years, as we went to fix things, we found that many things in the house were rigged. The dishwasher was hooked up all wonky, the front corner of the house wasn’t even resting on a stud, I could go on…

With each and every project, we took the time to repair them correctly. Even when we could’ve likewise just rigged them back up and ignored the underlying problems.

We installed a really robust fence, repaired the roof, installed soffit/fascia/gutters that were all missing. We fixed ‘er up. Even when the improvements didn’t quite match the quality of the neighborhood.

This is happening now in our new home. We’re slowly phasing out the old white appliances for solid stainless steel ones. We’re redoing outdated counters. We’re fixing troublesome wiring problems. We’re removing dumped garbage from the back corner of our lot. We’re making it better.

By the way, I have to say, we would’ve been the type of renters that any landlord would’ve dreamed of. We would’ve left their rooms nicer than when we moved in. Something that probably never happens.

But I carry this over in other ways in my life as well.

My mantra, and the guiding principle of this entire website and business is “better every day.” I try to better myself every day. I try to make my environment better. I try to make other people’s lives better. I try to workout better. I try to be a better mother and wife.

That’s just who I am.

Are you that way too?

Aren’t there so many ways that we can make things better, to fix what’s been left broken? To pick up the discarded napkin on the ground that everyone else is ignoring as “someone else’s fault/problem.” To leave friends feeling better after having been around you. To turn a weedy overgrown thorn meadow into a glorious fruitful garden. To leave a borrowed car with more gas than there was when you got in.

Isn’t that such a cool thing to aspire to? To leave things better than they were when you walked in?

So many people in this world walk around taking whatever they can, not caring about marring things as they pass through, and leaving things for the next person to clean up. Like discarded napkins at a picnic. Like tenants who lose their security deposit and then some within months of moving in.

Don’t be one of those people. We need more beautifiers and elevate-ers in this world.

Not only does this make the world a better place, but by being an elevate-er, you become a person that attracts more good things to you. You’re a builder and therefore become more built.

~Better every day~

 

So, tell me are you the rare type that actually leaves things better in your wake?

How to Find Extra Hidden Time in Your Day

You have no time to …………[fill in the blank]

  • Work out
  • Start an online business
  • Take your kid to another extracurricular class
  • Take up knitting

It’s the biggest excuse of all time. But, if you look closer, it’s one that has all different layers of meaning.

First of all, you’ve probably heard it before, but typically the “I don’t have time excuse” really just means “it’s not a priority.” You just don’t want to come out and say that, because it’s much less confronting to say “I don’t have time to come to your home jewelry party” than “I think that party is a waste of my time.”

If exercise was actually a priority, you would find the time, just like you find the time to meet with your boss because she’s a priority. There are a million things I could get done in the mornings instead of working out, but it’s important to me to get my exercise in then, so I do it.

 

K, so now that we’ve got that out of the way, what if you feel like you really don’t have time? Let’s dig around a little and find some for you.

  1. Lunch breaks: you can change your life on your lunch break. 30 minute increments are enough time to make headway toward any goal in your life. Learn a language, do a workout, build your website, write a blog post (ahem!), take a course…I could go on. And in fact, changing your life on your lunch break will probably become a new feature on this blog, I love it so much. Don’t just sit at your desk scrolling through Facebook or daydreaming. Get up and hustle for your goals for those precious 30 minutes. Over time, these repeated activities are going to compound into major traction.
  2. After kids are in bed: I would never want you to sacrifice your sacred time with your family for anything. They are likely the reason you do everything you do. But there is a sweet spot right after the kids go to bed and before you go to bed that you can use to manufacture your dreams. If you sit down and do a Power Hour every night, you will be leagues ahead of everyone in a month or two.
  3. Involve the kids: some of the things you’re working on might make your time with your kids even richer. If your goal is to exercise 5 days per week, take a family bike ride or jump rope together. If you want to make more biz videos for your Youtube Channel, turn the whole thing into a learning experience by turning your kids into little producers and film crews. If they’re interested, you may even have them create their own channels and do films for them too. The entire process from getting the right lighting to editing is educational and will likely give them a huge educational advantage.
  4. TV Time: I have always said and will always say, if you have time to watch TV, you have time to change your life. Period.
  5. Waiting in the car or in lines: there are quite a few things you can do while you’re waiting in your car for school to get our or standing in line at the store. Post something inspirational to your Facebook biz group. Record an audio for your online course. Catch up on some self development reading. Get out of your car and do a HIIT interval. Do deep breathing meditation. Use those few minutes to really LIVE those moments instead of passively letting them slip away.
  6. Commute: I would never recommend anything dangerous, but you can certainly get things done while driving, like listening to self-development podcasts or sermons. If you’re not the one driving, you can certainly do all kinds of things like knitting projects, sketching designs, reading, learning a new skill, etc.
  7. Find 10 minutes here and there: Even if you can’t string an entire half hour together to squeeze in a workout, you should certainly be able to find three 10-minute segments to give you just as good of results. You can easily do all kinds of social media work in 10 minutes or comment on 3-4 blogs to build relationships. You could write an introduction to the book you’re going to write and then write a paragraph here and there. If you want something bad enough, you will use these little time segments to your full advantage!!!

So, come on, be honest, there are times throughout your day when you are truly just sort of puttering about, aren’t there? If you are really serious about your goals, you will reclaim that time for your own self-advancement.

But hey, if your kid really doesn’t want to go to annnnnnother club meeting, no one’s going to stop you if you say “We don’t have time for that.” But if you tell me, “I don’t have time to work out,” I will likely raise my brow, signaling that I’m reading right through that.

 

Where do you think you could harvest some time for your goals?

My Favorite Planner Notebook: Staples Arc System

Oh, the Arc System, how I love thee. I was first introduced to these notebooks when I was searching for a graduation gift for one of my interns. She was an uber-organized, Type-A person who I knew would appreciate what these had to offer. Once I found them and bought one for her, I knew I absolutely had to have one for myself. I used the notebook as a reward for myself for when I passed my NASM exam.
Meet the Arc System. I’m having a love affair with them. Don’t tell Hubster.
Check out this video to peek into my planner on YouTube.
Staples and Office Max both have their own versions of this notebook, as do Levenger, Rollabind and Martha Stewart. In fact, they’re all compatible with each other. What these notebooks consist of are circular disks (which come in various sizes) that the paper attaches to. But each page is entirely removable and then replaceable. What makes that so amazing is that its a perpetual notebook that works forever. You can continue tearing pages out and buying refills as needed. And you can combine all your notebooks for all your different projects in one so you don’t have to carry them all around separately.
You can also purchase all different kinds of fillers from graph paper to calendars to regular lined paper. Believe me, I stood in that aisle for a good half-hour weighing my options. Ok, probably more like an hour. Not only can you buy different fillers, but you can also buy file folders, page dividers, small list pads, sticky notes and other things that work with the disks too.

You can also use any of your own paper to refill the planner. To do that, you just need to pick up a compatible paper punch. The big hole punches cost upwards of $50, but you can get this “portable punch” from Levenger for just $16 like I did.
I only punch a sheet here and there so this works perfect for me. One such sheet is this page of scriptures that speak to my anxiety so I can reference it when I need it.
I like to use cute printables for my calendars instead of the ones that Arc puts out. Just do a quick search on Pinterest for calendar printables and you’ll find something in your style. Right now, I’m liking these.
I also have a small Rollabind version of the notebook that I found at work. I love the portable size! I use this notebook to record the workouts that I’ve been designing.

We had another sale at work where I found a few more Rollabinds and I snatched 3 up right away because I love them so much. They’re stashed away for a day where I decide I need another notebook for something. I’m a writer. It happens.
I encourage anyone that loves notebooks, planners, organizing, printables, etc to pick up one of these systems and choose a few inserts that suit your taste. Then, come back here and tell me how addicted you are. What are your favorite planners/notebooks?

Let’s Talk About New Years’ Resolutions

But it’s only December 15!!! Right?

Well, I propose that you start drafting your new years’ resolutions right now. In fact, I propose you even consider starting on them right now. The reason is simple: ANY DAY is the right day to start following your dreams.

What is the direction that you want your life to go? That is the most important question you could consider when it comes to exploring your life’s purpose. And the question takes a lot of consideration and brainstorming to answer.

So, get out a pen and paper and start. Give yourself a solid 30 minutes to 1 hour to really dig in. Write out a list of the things that you value most: your family, God, your home environment, helping people, etc. Write out what your goals are as they pertain to each of your values. Your goals and values should be aligned so you’re not just starting new projects arbitrarily. In other words, don’t adopt another goldfish if your life’s ambition is to travel and don’t spend an extra hour at “work lunches” every day if your family life is a priority for you to cultivate.

The benefits of defining your goals right now is that you’ll have a head start come the new year. You can get all the details prepared, you can “test” out your resolutions and refine them, you can narrow your focus, and you can build up your excitement and motivation.

I would also strongly recommend going through Chalene Johnson’s 30 Day Push to refine your goals. It’s a free online program that will push you toward your life’s goals. It will help give aim to your ambitions.

Now, if you have fitness goals for this year, please contact me and I would love to help you reach them.

Stick Chest Stretch

The Best Parts of 2013

Sitting at home, thinking about my goals and ambitions for the upcoming year, I thought it would be nice to review 2013 for its strong points. It’s a good way to get perspective about accomplishments and abilities, as well as to remember travels and other memorable events.

The best parts of 2013:

  1. I entered my 30s.
  2. I studied for and passed the NASM personal training exam and became certified for my 30th birthday.
  3. I purchased my domain name and started setting up my personal training website.
  4. Traveled to our cabin getaway.
  5. Sewed my very first and second quilts.
  6. Designed five free workouts.
  7. Tried Crossfit for the first time.
  8. Took a few summer boat rides and even saw a bald eagle.
  9. Attended our annual Perseid Picnic.
  10. Traveled to Mackinac Island.
  11. Met a few celebs.
  12. Traveled to Door County, WI.
  13. Traveled to Chicago.
  14. Chaperoned my first field trip for Peanut to Sullivan’s Woods.
  15. Traveled to Elkhart Lake for a retreat weekend.
  16. Bought and conquered my new moped.
  17. Ran a 5k in April and Peanut even raced too.
  18. Became a manager at work.
I know 2014 will hold even more surprises. We’re already gearing up for our next trip to Florida in March, and I have a whole lot of things in the works for this blog. I can’t wait to see what else is in store!
Celebrate with me this week as we enter a new year. Jot down a few of your best moments for 2014, what you learned, where you traveled, what you crossed off your bucket list. Take a moment to remember how far you’ve come and how strong you are to galvanize you for the future. I’d like to hear what you favorite parts of the year was. Leave a comment here on the blog or tag me on Twitter so I can see what you accomplished too.
Happy New Year!

10 Ways to Get a Head-Start on your New Year’s Resolutions

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I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again and again: if you have a goal, start it today! If you want to lose weight, start with your next meal–don’t wait until Monday or New Year’s. I myself started South Beach right in between Thanksgiving and Christmas, knowing full well what a treat hell I would be facing. Right now is the perfect time to get a head-start on your New Year’s resolutions. Here’s how:

1. Start Small: Break your big goals down into the smallest parts. For example, if you’d like to get out of debt, you need to make a checklist of all the strategies you need to try to do so such as cancelling credit cards you don’t use, paying $5 extra per month on your highest loan, shopping for lower interest rates, etc. Start with just one piece of the goal at a time. Just check off one item per week until you’re well on your way to financial freedom. It’s easier to stick with small changes you incorporate over time versus implementing a whole bunch at once.

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2. Practice your New Year’s Resolution: Testing out some of the habits that you want to change will give you a feel for what types of obstacles you’ll be facing. And if you know what obstacles you’ll be facing, you can make a better action plan, helping you to solidify your final plans. Test the waters in the next two weeks. Maybe you’ll find that outdoor workouts this time of year just aren’t going to work for you. Good thing you found that out now, not mid-January! Maybe you’ll find that you need to gather a few more resources. Maybe you’re going to start a weight loss plan on Jan 1, but you don’t know how to lose that weight. Check some healthy cookbooks and fitness magazines out from the library this week! Start listening to weight loss podcasts while you work. Plan out your workout schedule for the entire month of January in your Google calendar. This goes for any type of goal you wish to set for the new year. Gather all your supplies and test out your plans. Tweak from there so you are fully prepared once January 1 rolls around.

3. Establish SMART Goals: that SMART acronym is such a foolproof way to set goals. Your goals should always be specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely. For a refresher on what these all mean, look here. Your goals must be written and understood in a way that is trackable, has a time limit, and isn’t beyond your realistic capabilities. Make sure every resolution you make follows the SMART guidelines.

4. Reward System: Put a reward system in place as soon as you reach those measurable goals. Knowing you’re going to treat yourself to a massage or your new favorite book after losing 5 lbs just might give you that extra push you need. Just like in school, you deserve a tangible way to tell yourself “way to go!” Rewards also make the process of achieving your goals much more fun. Would you rather run 4 days a week for a month just to increase your speed or to increase your speed AND enjoy a massage? See what a difference that little reward makes?

5. Make your Goal Emotional: Emotional goals are much more compelling than more shallow, vain ones. Find a way to make your goal hit straight to the heart. For example, instead of losing weight to fit in a bikini, how about reframing your thought process? What will it feel like to be healthy? Will you feel light and carefree? Will you feel capable and strong? Use those emotions to propel you toward your goals. Run your miles for cancer survivors. Beat a medical condition before it even starts. Create a family bonding time with nightly walking rituals. Whatever you do, connect to your goal on an emotional level to make it that much more meaningful.

6. Start Over: Most resolutions fail by after about one month. In fact, only 64% of resolution makers even make it to the one month mark. Don’t be one of those people! If you fall off, get back on. Start over. What I want you to do is to set your start-over dates right now. Start over on January 15, then on February 1, then on February 15 and so on. All-or-nothing thinking will only make you frustrated. Slip-ups are allowed, as long as you keep the forward momentum. If you allow yourself a little wiggle room and a few extra chances, you leave more room for goal achievement. Plus, tackling your goals in 15-day chunks seems much more do-able, right?

7. Join a Challenge: Find a challenge that begins on January 1 right now that coincides with your goal. Plenty of Diet Bets (with monetary rewards) and money challenges will be beginning in the new year. Find one now and get psyched to start!

8. Put it in Writing, in Public: Social support is one of the key factors to goal adherence. Make sure you post your intentions on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or wherever else you’d like. Once it’s out there, in writing, you are less likely to falter. You can’t fly under the radar anymore, and that’s a good thing! Simply posting your resolutions will give you another extra push to make sure they happen.

9. Join Forces: Does someone else close to you have a similar goal? Try doing the tasks with them, or at least check in with one another. Find a Twitter buddy–Twitter is teeming with fitness and money buffs that you can make easy friends with. At the very least, follow some of your favorite fitness, money or other related personalities. Checking their tweets every day will be a source of constant motivation. It’s amazing what healthy pictures on Instagram and motivating quotes on Twitter can do for a person when they’re running low on fuel!

10. Research: Wanting to save more money? Research your investment options beforehand. Lose weight? Read articles on fitness and nutrition in your free time. The more you know, the easier it will be to implement your plan, the more competent you’ll feel, and the more pumped you’ll be! Just don’t get too overwhelmed with the details that you never start to begin with. Just start! You’ll find that over time you start to absorb the information, so don’t try to memorize every little thing. Just cultivate an awareness and understanding of what you’re doing before you start so you can start strong! Sign up for a few newsletters and check a few headlines every morning to stay in-the-know.

I wish you the best of luck with your New Year’s resolutions and have a wonderful holiday. Report back if any of these tips helped you create a resolution that stuck. I’d love to hear about it.

P.S. I’m really loving this list of resolutions from Huff Post. I think all of our resolutions should look more like this:)