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What are your New Year’s Resolutions?

With the New Year upon us, many aspire to make changes in their lives with the infamous “New Year Resolutions”. Research suggests that the top 5 resolutions of 2012 were:

1. Lose weight/Get fit

2. Eat healthier

3. Pay off debt/manage money better

4. Stop smoking

5. Get organized

As it stands, 45% of us will make resolutions this month, but statistically, only 8% of us will actually succeed at meeting our goals this year. For me personally, losing weight and eating healthier have been on my list for the past 10 years. How can we succeed at meeting our goals with the odds against us? One way is to be “SMART” when making our resolutions.

Smart GoalsSteps to success:

#1 Set a specific goal. For example: “I will lose 10lbs by May 1, 2014 by increasing exercise to 5 days per week, 45 minutes per day and decreasing soda consumption from 1 can per day to 1 can per week”, as opposed to “lose weight”.

#2 Set measurable goals and monitor your progress at set intervals. For example: Regularly log your progress on a chart, journal or even your smart phone! offers a variety of products to assist you.

#3 Set realistic and attainable goals.  Losing 10 lbs in 10 days is not realistic!Celebrate-Success-Encourage

#4 Choose goals relevant to your life and find someone to support and encourage your efforts. Try using a vision board to list goals and hang it where you will see it daily!

#5 Set a date and time in which you will achieve your goal, and most importantly, celebrate your success!

Changing the focus? A challenge for you!Give-Freely GivingTuesday Delaware

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we all had a goal for 2014 that involved someone or something other than ourselves? I challenge each reader to include a resolution this year that will help further a cause, aid a charity, or support a family in need. Your gift of time is priceless! Some suggestions:

1. Volunteer monthly at your local area homeless shelter.

2. Sign up to be a Big Brother/Big Sister to help a child in need.

3. Become a companion to an elderly person. Many people receive no visitors.

4. Assist your local animal shelter or the SPCA. Volunteers are always needed.

5. Contact your local church; there is always a need for helpers.

6. Clean out your closets and call Purple Heart. They will pick up your items and distribute them to needy families.

7. Be creative! Use your talents to help others directly or indirectly.

Debbie is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Delaware and New Jersey and CEO of Total Family Solutions.