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Katy England Katy England
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Resolving

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Resolutions are notoriously fickle things. We tend, as a society, to bite off more than we can chew in terms of resolutions. Typical goals tend to be humongous and kind of vague: Lose weight, exercise more, quit smoking, climb Everest. Then we get down on ourselves if we fail. If you've never failed, first of all, good for you; second, you may want to skip this story.

Here are some resolution tips for the New Year:

Keep it simple. Instead of resolving to 'lose weight,' resolve a specific number of pounds and dates to go with them. I resolve to lose five pounds by May, 10 pounds by August, and 20 pounds by next December. These are attainable goals, and much easier if you make them smaller.

Be specific. Rather than saying you want to 'exercise more' pick an exercise you're reasonably certain you can handle (e.g. walking a half mile, 15 pushups or 20 squats). Then set a time to do them.

Get a resolution buddy. You are probably not the only person who has vowed to climb Everest. But if you have someone who you can make plans with, split the cost of hiring a Sherpa and train, you're more likely to stick with your incredibly insane and difficult plan.

Give yourself a good reason to keep trying. Then remind yourself why you resolved to do this in the first place. Deciding to do something really good for you that is also really difficult is quite a challenge. Find out what your motivation is, then keep that in your face as much as possible. If you're a smoker who resolved to climb Everest, you need to realize you're probably going to have to quit smoking first. But it could just be that you want to live to see your grandchildren grow up. Keep their pictures around constantly. Ask your relatives to ban smoking in their houses so you have a concrete reason not to smoke.

Do something you actually want to do. There is no rule saying resolutions have to suck. If you've always wanted to read the 'Song of Ice and Fire' series by George R.R. Martin why not resolve to do so? Ever wondered what it was like to skydive? This could be your year. Wanted to learn to swim, sew, fence, whittle or play an instrument? It's 2013, baby, give it a shot. Brew some beer, learn to bake, try a Tango, try a new bottle of wine each month, watch 'Walking Dead' from the beginning, write that novel. Whatever it is: do it!

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