The end is near. The end of 2017, that is. So, have you decided what your New Year’s Resolution will be? Maybe it would be more appropriate to ask if you are going to make a New Year’s Resolution. Some people become discouraged after years of making the same resolutions, and not being able to keep them.

Let’s look at the whole idea with fresh eyes. We all know that we could improve ourselves in various ways. The thought of a new year beginning makes us want to do that. We think that with a clean slate, January 2 of the new year is the day we will finally come to grips with our flaws and fix them.

It could just be that this is the very aspect that becomes our downfall. We want to “fix” ourselves, like overhauling an automobile engine. Then, we’ll run like new, right? We forget that an automobile, once it’s fixed, just has to be operated properly for it to run smoothly. We poor mortals aren’t so cut and dry. We have things that get in the way of our smooth running, like emotions, weaknesses for various pleasures, and that old nemesis, laziness.

Let us say that you would like to become more fit. That leads to the question of what is “fit”? You will accomplish more if you define what you mean. Perhaps you need to lose twenty pounds, and establish a routine of physical activity. (Running the Boston Marathon might be in the offing eventually, but that probably shouldn’t be your initial resolution, especially if you haven’t even walked down the block to get a paper for a long time.) The key to keeping your resolution is to set a realistic goal.

The weight loss can become a problem if your plan is to simply use more willpower at mealtime. Sitting around saying, “I’m not going to eat that cake! I’m not going to eat that cake!” will just make you want the cake more, and make you feel deprived when you do resist it. That’s why a lot of dieters give up after a short while.

Instead of just saying no to cake, how about saying yes to more activity? It doesn’t have to be a lot of activity. The effects of an extra twenty minutes to a half hour a day will amaze you. Working this into your daily routine is the trick. Try getting up a half hour earlier and doing some walking, running, or calisthenics. If you’re not up to that in the morning, take some gym clothes, and do it on your way home from work. Then, an occasional slice of cake, or chocolate cookie won’t be such a big deal. You can afford it.

Having a friend who has a similar resolution can go a long way towards remaining faithful to your goal. You can encourage each other, and do some of the activities together. If you like competition, you could even make it a sort of race.

Behavior modification experts recommend that you put your resolution in writing, and post it in a prominent place in your house. They also recommend keeping a journal on your progress. You can watch for patterns of behavior and of associations that tend to support your goal, or that tend to hinder you.

There’s a lot of helpful advice on the internet about keeping your resolution. If you need help in the area of real estate, the Casey O’Neal team is just a call or an email away.

Happy New Year!