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January 21, 2011 > Happy Living: One Day at a Time: Keep your New Year's Resolutions

Happy Living: One Day at a Time: Keep your New Year's Resolutions

The human mind is complex. We need constant encouragement to continue doing things that we said we were going to do. There are times when our strength is not enough to complete idealistic goals we make as New Year's resolutions.

Perhaps it was the smaller size sleepwear I received for Christmas that hinted at my weight gain. I had put on a few pounds - okay, about 25 lbs., but I was doing really well blaming holiday food intake in a desperate attempt to sound festive. I knew I had to do something about it.

Why is January 1st special? What makes us think we are better equipped than the year before? And what happened to my resolutions anyway? I realized that most items on my list are not working out for me after a few weeks into the year.

Could I set up foolproof New Year resolutions? Sure, if I had someone I trusted to push me daily in pursuit of my targets. The television program, The Biggest Looser, attains such great results with obese people only because competitors are provided with daily professional trainers, in-house chefs, immediate medical attention, and great cash prize incentives. But I depend only on myself to achieve my goals.

By observing my own actions, I discovered that my New Year's resolution list lacked potential for success, unless the protagonist - me, was totally responsible for making it happen. You see, most of us fail at completing goals and immediately attribute fault to bad weather, or the eight hour day jobs we hold. For me, it is the lack of sleep - even though I continue to watch late night television.

When I am tired and lack chocolate energy, my mental strength is not at its peak, and I begin to hold trivial circumstances responsible to escape from blaming myself. Goals that I made while toasting sweet champagne at midnight in celebration of New Year's began to be kicked to the curb.

This was my Eureka moment; are you ready? It is absolutely necessary that I make myself liable, important, and in charge. By making me fully and completely responsible for working toward a goal, it becomes attainable. The target was not the goal, it was me. Who would I disappoint if I failed to loose weight this year? Me! Who do I hurt by smoking smelly cigarettes? Me! - I put that in there for sensory effect, I am not a smoker. Anyhow, whose health should I worry about? Mine! Who looks bad if I quit my promises? I do! Who should criticize me if this article does not result in weight loss for readers? Me! Wait a second, not even me!

Saying that I matter, changes a goal completely for me. Reacting any other way turns goals into vicious cycles of failures. By putting my good reputation on the line and choosing the lead position -I became the goal. Respect, integrity, honesty, accomplishment, and sweet success followed. I need to first commit to myself, rather than a difficult goal.

In my last year's resolution list I committed me to writing a book. I had never written a book of any kind before and the project took ten months to finish. During the process, I kept telling myself how crazy I was to even think I could do this; convincing me that I could do it was the key to my 5000 piece puzzle.

I could have ended the project as I grew tired of it by the sixth or seventh month, but the commitment to my reputation became stronger and the book became real. I then began the proud process of telling others of my plans.

Use my Eureka moment and continue striving to do your New Year's resolutions. Write your name on top of the list followed by the goals you want this year. Commit to you first. Success and achievement of goals will follow you. A prayer or two should help too!

ElenaMartina is a freelance columnist and reporter. She will publish her first book this year. You can contact her directly at

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