Keep it reasonable.
"I am going to solve world hunger," is simply not a realistic New Year's resolution. Don't select huge goals that are doomed to fail. Keep your aspirations small and doable if you want the best chance for success. For example, if world hunger issues are near and dear to you, resolve to donate more cans to your local food bank or to give an affordable monthly amount to a global charity.
Make sure that you can accomplish it by yourself.
"I will find love this year," is a really sweet thought, but there is another person in that equation. Instead try for a resolution you have more control over, such as promising to keep yourself open to meeting different people or finally giving online dating a shot. The same is true if you want to improve your career path. You can't really control if you get hired or nab a promotion, but you can improve your chances by resolving to be more prepared, take additional classes, and polish up your resume.
Don't put a number on it.
Most women resolve to lose a certain number of pounds each year, and find themselves terribly disappointed (and sometimes even heavier than they were before). Rather than making a resolution like, "I will lose 20 pounds," choose a healthier, "I will make better choices with food and exercise." Even better, just make a goal to change one small thing, such as drinking more water each day or resolving to get outside for a walk after you get home from work. When you lose weight as a side effect of that change you feel successful, not devastated that you haven't hit an arbitrary number.
You can make your resolution fun. It's allowed.
Why do we always focus on making resolutions out of things that are impossible or involve deprivation? Resolutions can actually be things that comfort and indulge you. Make a goal to give yourself more time to read or make a list of classic films that you've always wanted to watch. You could also agree to give yourself classes in hobbies that you have an interest in, such as learning how to cook your fave ethnic cuisine or deciding to take up guitar.
Who said they have to last all year?
Give yourself a chance to complete your resolutions by making short-term ones, and adopting new ones once you have completed your first goal. For example, you could promise yourself to keep your bedroom clutter-free in January. Once you've done that, move to another monthly resolution like writing each family member and friend a sweet card for Valentine's Day, or spending more time with your grandparents.
Remember that there is nothing magic to the goals we create at the beginning of each year. We can always benefit from taking a step back and improving ourselves and our lives. Best of luck with your changes, and have a wonderful 2016!
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