Planning for a New Year: Get started on your New Year’s resolutions

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Did you know that although 75 percent of New Year’s resolutions last through the first week of January, less than half make it past six months and only 8 percent reach the finish line?

Even with the best intentions and achievable goals, it’s not surprising so many of us fall off the wagon when it comes to changing bad habits, becoming a little more disciplined or saving for a rainy day.

As we wrap up 2016 and anxiously anticipate 2017, what can you do to make sure your resolutions don’t fall by the wayside before the snow melts?

1. Write down your resolutions: Take a moment to reflect on the past year and home in on what goals you really want to accomplish in 2017. Then, write them down! It’s not enough to just tell yourself you want to spend less and save more; get fit and healthy; or spend more quality time with family. Putting your resolutions in writing puts them in plain sight where they can’t be quickly forgotten.

2. Keep your resolutions in sight: Don’t you dare shove your list of goals in a drawer somewhere! Post them on the refrigerator, bulletin board, bathroom mirror — anywhere you look frequently, so you’ll have a constant reminder to stay on track. This is particularly key for long-term goals that require lots of baby steps to achieve, like building up a savings account or training for a marathon.

3. Do something every day, no matter how small: Looking to unplug? Start by carving out 30 minutes each day to completely detach yourself from all electronics — no cheating! When that no longer feels like a big deal, kick it up another 30 minutes, and increase from there. Use that extra free time to spend more time with your children, go for a hike or catch up on your reading list.

4. Forgive yourself: We get it; there are days you just can’t make it to the gym or someone brings doughnuts to the office. Don’t beat yourself up and throw in the towel. Instead, resolve to get back on track tomorrow. Just knowing you’ve made it this far can give you the confidence to know you CAN do this.

So, what are your resolutions for 2017? Any tips for making sure you achieve your goals?

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