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Farmers Almanac
The 2014 Farmers Almanac
Farmers' Almanac

Sticking to Your New Year’s Resolutions

Sticking to Your New Year’s Resolutions

Polls show that 88% of Americans make at least one New Year’s resolution. While resolutions can be as unique as the individual, the most popular resolutions are to eat healthier (55%), exercise more (50%), and lose weight (38%). Although made with good intentions, most people fail to follow through in keeping their goals for the New Year. But that doesn’t mean you can’t be among the 20% of people who do actually achieve success with their resolutions. Here’s how to do it:

Be realistic. Making too many resolutions only sets you up for failure and discouragement. Limit your resolve to the one or two most important goals you would like to achieve in the New Year. And set obtainable goals. Fifty pounds will not come off overnight, but losing a pound per week is doable.

Write it down. It’s a proven fact that you are much more likely to stick with goals you have put into writing. List your objectives, and then make a detailed plan outlining the steps needed to achieve them. Breaking down lofty goals into manageable steps will help you stay focused and give you the satisfaction of achieving “mini-goals” along your way to ultimate success.

Establish accountability. Share your goals with trusted family members and friends who can encourage you and hold you accountable on those difficult days when you feel like quitting. Record your struggles and successes in a journal.

Be flexible. Life is full of changes. Expect setbacks, and be assured this is normal. Give yourself permission to make adjustments to your original goals if needed.

Enlist professional help. Hiring a professional trainer or joining a weight loss program can make the difference between failure or success. Professionals are trained to help you achieve your goals.

Reward successes. Establish benchmarks with specific rewards as you work toward your ultimate goal. For instance, motivate yourself to lose those first ten pounds with the anticipated reward of a relaxing day at the spa.

Give it time. Experts say it takes 21 days to create a habit and six months for it to become part of your daily life.

Never give up! Hang in there and be persistent. You’ve made a promise to yourself – honor the importance of this!

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If you notice a hole in the upper left-hand corner of your Farmers' Almanac, don't return it to the store! That hole isn't a defect; it's a part of history. Starting with the first edition of the Farmers' Almanac in 1818, readers used to nail holes into the corners to hang it up in their homes, barns, and outhouses (to provide both reading material and toilet paper). In 1910, the Almanac's publishers began pre-drilling holes in the corners to make it even easier for readers to keep all of that invaluable information (and paper) handy.