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Setting your sights on success in 2010!
by Maryanne Comaroto

People have all sorts of reasons for setting New Yearapostrophes resolutions. Itapostrophes a useful ritual that can help us imagine a better life for ourselves, or trick us into thinking that itapostrophes that easy to instigate change. But real change requires determination, desire, and perseverance, and statistics show that only 40% of people who set resolutions stick with them until they reach their goals.

What were your resolutions for last year? I remember mine: to take life less seriously and slow down a little, and to stop being so judgmental. These werenapostrophet easy goals for someone as hyper-vigilant as I can be, but I found that having some helpful tips makes a big difference.

1. Take stock of what happened last time. For better or worse, your performance last time you set resolutions can be a useful educational tool. What worked for you, and what didnapostrophet? Setting goals that are realistic is not easy. Itapostrophes not just about writing stuff down on a piece of paper.

2. Get your passion flowing. Going into something half-heartedly is the fastest way to make sure you wonapostrophet succeed. Choose resolutions that you really want to do, changes in your life that youapostrophere really passionate about making. Doesnapostrophet it make sense to focus your efforts on the things that really move you? Think long and hard about this, and whatever you choose, get excited about it.

3. Make an announcement. Your friends are the greatest cheerleaders you could ever hope for, and it would be silly not to make the best use of that. Get everyone together, and let them know what youapostrophere doing. They will be your shoulder to cry on when things get rough, and they will cheer you on when things are going well. Itapostrophes wonderful to have a support network.

4. Keep it visual. Knowing what your goals are is one thing, but having constant reminders means you will stay continually motivated. Write your goals on your bedroom mirror. Put another set on the refrigerator. Send yourself memos and messages. Anything you have to do to keep your goals in front of your eyes.

5. Check yourself at the halfway point. Donapostrophet wait until the end of the year to assess how youapostrophere doing - make at least one checkpoint along the way to take stock of your progress. It feels great to see how far youapostropheve come, and that can help renew your excitement about the remainder of the journey ahead of you.

6. Donapostrophet worry if you take a wrong turn. The road to success is almost never a straight line. There may be twists and turns, or detours, or you may wander off onto a different road entirely. Thatapostrophes absolutely okay; humans are not meant to be perfect. Accept your experiences as part of the journey, give yourself a little pep talk, and get back on the road again. As long as you keep going, you will get there eventually!

7. Celebrate your success! You should always have a way to reward yourself for your efforts. This could be any sort of healthy motivator, something you really want. Perhaps you could take the money from the cigarettes you are no longer buying, and use it to get something wonderful for yourself, or your children.

If you were wondering how well I did in 2009 - I did get my judgmental tendencies more under control, and Iapostrophem doing really well at seeing the less serious side of things (especially myself)! Right now Iapostrophem sitting overlooking the ocean in Carmel Valley, and my husband and I are just about to take our dog, Bella, for a walk. Itapostrophes our way of rewarding ourselves for success in 2009!

About the Author:
Maryanne Comaroto is an internationally known relationship expert, talk show host and author. Maryanne is also the founder of a leading non-profit, The National Action Organization, a 501(c)3 organization committed to changing the way our culture values women. For more information visit http://www.maryannelive.com/. For more of Maryanne talking all things relationship: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YY9eQD1lH4Y.