How to keep a New Year's resolution

Oct 12, 2008 at 7:52 p.m. ET

Because it's a major transitional time, New Year's provides a convenient occasion to take stock of your life. Millions of people make resolutions, but how do you keep them? The American Council on Exercise (ACE) offers the following 10 tips to help you stick to your New Year resolutions.

New Year's Resolution

10 tips to help you stick to your New Year's resolutions

Resolution Tip 1.

Set resolutions that are realistic and based on your personal history. Learn from your failures. If you want to exercise five days a week and you haven't done it in the past, vow to work out twice a week.
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  1. Have a clear plan. Don't just make a resolution, know how you will make it happen.
  2. Be positive. A "can-do" attitude really does make a difference.
  3. Don't talk yourself out of it. No excuses. Just do it.
  4. Be realistic. If your goal is huge and unchartered, set interim goals.

Resolution Tip 2.

Set interim goals. You can't lose 100 pounds or get a PhD overnight. Lose two to three pounds a week, and work toward your doctorate a few credits at a time.

Resolution Tip 3.

Evaluate whether or not you have the skills to attain the goal of your resolution. If you want to start a strength-training program but have never lifted a weight or been inside a gym, there's a good chance you'll get intimidated or confused, or over train and possibly injure yourself. A wiser way to start would be to read a book or surf the Web for information on weight training, or work with a personal trainer until you get acclimated.

Resolution Tip 4.

Write down both your resolution and your plan. Use clear and concise language. A well laid out plan will help to ensure success.

Resolution Tip 5.

Keep track of your progress periodically. Try once a week.

Resolution Tip 6.

Use positive language. The way you talk to yourself really affects your ability to attain your goals. Try to develop a "can-do" attitude.

Resolution Tip 7.

Lose the excuses. Don't say: "It's too late for me to go back to school." Instead, affirm: "There's no age limit to getting a degree" and "Once I get that degree, I'll be able to get a better job."

Resolution Tip 8.

Get support. Reach out to your family, friends or a group of people who share the same goal and who can encourage you if your resolve weakens.

Resolution Tip 9.

Develop coping strategies. Learn how to deal with problems that come up.

Resolution Tip 1.0

Celebrate your "successes" and rebound from your "failures." Take credit for success when you achieve a resolution. If you fail don't blame yourself, just see how you can do better the next time.

SheKnows wishes you a Happy New Year!!