New Year's Resolutions: Five Tips to Help You Stick to Your Goals

It is now officially January 2012, folks. That means Weight Watchers commercials have become even more common than those obnoxious presidential campaign commercials. Gym memberships are being offered at dirt-cheap prices, and healthy eateries are thriving with new business. New Year’s resolutions are in full swing, unless they have already been broken, which is a quite probable for a vast majority of the population.
But that will not be you this year. No, this year you are sticking to your guns and achieving your goals. Here are five tips that will help you maintain your sanity in the midst of that tough, inner struggle.

1. Track your progress regularly. This may sound nerdy, but there is a reason this tip is listed first. You need to realize that you are taking small steps toward your goal and a way to make sure you aren’t backtracking. So whether you keep a daily diary to track your eating habits or a calendar to view your smoke- or alcohol-free days, making tracking your habits a part of your daily routine is almost as important as kicking your bad habit. 
2. Envision yourself achieving your goal. Not in that stupid, “The Secret” kind of psychological willing things to happen way but in the way that makes you remember why you set that goal in the first place. See yourself losing those 20 pounds, think about how happy you will be and how differently you will dress. See yourself leaner and more toned, view how much healthier you will feel after making exercise a part of your life. Whatever you are trying to achieve, constantly remind yourself of why it is a goal in the first place, because in moments of weakness it may be hard to see that light at the end of the tunnel.
3. Reward yourself. Celebrate small victories -- after all, these are what eventually get you to achieve your goal. There is a catch to this tip; don’t reward yourself with your vice. For example, if you are trying to eat healthy don’t reward yourself for a week of very healthy eating with a McDonald’s feast, instead reward yourself with a low-fat Starbucks drink. The key is to indulge yourself sparingly. 
4. Lean on your support system. Yes, you may be an adult but that doesn’t mean you can’t accept some help. Go on a diet with your best friend, you’ll find more success since you will be motivating and cheering each other on. Find yourself a serious workout buddy, someone who will teach you but also keep you on your toes. Tell your boyfriend not to let you do a certain action you are trying to expel. His constant watch will give you strength in your moments of weakness.
5. Realize what you set out to do and keep moving forward. So many people accomplish their goals but what good is change if it isn’t permanent? The idea is to change so make sure you are really working on your self as a person, not just your physical aspects but who you are and how you live. This is your opportunity to improve your life for good, now isn’t that awesomely empowering?

This is a new year; 2012 is your fresh start for finding your new and improved self even if it takes you all year.