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One year I was fed up with making resolutions and not seeing them through, so I renamed them goals. Which, of course, is what they are, but I was disguising them as something else thinking that I might be able to actually accomplish something by renaming them.

So, now I am back to calling them what they rightly should be - Resolutions. As I think back over the last 5 years only one year stands out as a year that 3 of the 5 resolutions were accomplished. That was the year that I learned cake decorating and completed a knitting project for my husband. I don’t remember what the 3rd resolution was, but I do remember that 3 of 5 resolutions were accomplished.

A 2005 article claims that 92% of all New Year’s Resolutions made by Americans are not kept. That is staggering when you think about it. It can also be rather discouraging. So, to stave off possible Resolution discouragement at the end of next year I came up with 5 tips for helping New Year’s Resolutions to become reality.

1. Tangible Results. I found for myself that my resolutions have to be tangible goals that can be measured in some way. Either the goal has to be measured with a solid result or, in the case of character changes, by the follow-up opinions of people that you trust.

2. Short List. The longer the list the harder it becomes to attain your goals. I generally choose 5 areas of my life which I would like to improve in - one thing from each area. Examples would be Health, Family, Tech or Online, Education, etc.

3. Out of Sight Out of Mind. Post your goals somewhere you will be able to review them. Many people put together a resolutions list, but by the end of the year they do not know where that list is. I found that the most effective place for me to keep my list was on my blog. Other great places would be near your computer, on the frig, or somewhere else, but keep in mind that the resolutions must be in view.

4. Realistic Goals. You have to make your goals realistic and attainable. If one of your goals is to move across the country and buy a house by April, but your credit is horrible and you don’t have a job, you might have to rethink your goal. You are single and would like to have 10 kids by December? It could happen, but most likely it won’t - especially not without a plan in place. You weigh 500 pounds and would like to lose 350 by December? Yes, it could happen, but you might also be dead from trying. Think “attainable” and healthy, please!

5. Accountability.
The way to achieve the best results is by having someone who will agree to be an accountability partner. Someone who will ask you how it is going as you strive to reach your goals.

My 2009 Resolutions
With that said here are my 2009 Resolutions:

1. Education - Graduate in July earning my bachelor of science degree is Business Management.
2. Health - 80% fitness consistency. That means that I need to exercise 3 times a week at least 10 out of 12 months. You think that’s a good goal?
3. Spiritual - Start a ministry to support people whose spouses do not believe in God.
4. Online - To start an online magazine geared toward Bible study and devotional resources. Let me know if you’d like to contribute!
5. Family - To seek out weekly time with each of my four children individually so that I can connect with them on a deeper level emotionally and spiritually as individuals.

If you have suggestions or tips on what you do to make your resolutions a reality make sure to leave a comment to this post and pay it forward so that others can benefit.

Side note: Yay!!! My resolutions are done before the year began!! Last year I didn’t get my list together until the middle of February :)

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