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Its that time of year again! Once the Christmas madness dies down, out whip the notebooks, and suddenly long lists of determined goals are penned, destined to gather dust until next year.

This year, lets resolve to change that!

…Wait, who am I kidding? I make that resolution every year too. Here’s the problem: we make too many big resolutions. Every year, we try to change ourselves for the better (an admirable goal for sure!) but maybe personal growth doesn’t actually mean a 180 degree turn from old habits.

To solve this problem, here’s a guide to help you craft your own set of New Years Resolutions tailored perfectly to your needs, that you will (hopefully!) actually want to follow in 2013:

Step 1: Reflect on Your Past

Now that you’ve made it past the holidays, take some time to reflect on the past year. What did you love about 2012? What did you hate about it? Close your eyes, and really think about the moments that left you feeling particularly proud, accomplished, or just purely happy.

Step 2: Imagine Your Perfect Year

What do you want 2013 to be like? Think about the things you want to accomplish (both serious and fun) and how you can accomplish them in ways that work for you. Try and keep these ideas realistic, but hopeful!

Step 3: Create Broader Goals

Now comes the hard part! In my experience, trying to craft goals that are extremely specific can be rather discouraging. To combat this, this year, I’m going to try keeping my resolutions to ideas instead. For example, rather than saying, “this year, I’m going to write in my journal everyday,” which tends to be very unrealistic, I’ll write: “this year, every time I’m inspired, I’m going to write.” This resolution puts much less pressure on me, and is much easier to stick to.

Step 4: See The Bigger Picture

Finally, add in what the main aim is for each one of your goals. Try to remind yourself each time you look at your goals about why  you want to accomplish this specific thing. What is it that you really  want?

Write your new resolutions down somewhere you can see them everyday. Maybe keep them on a dry erase board on your wall, or, if you’re artistically inclined, make an art masterpiece out of them! Try and personalize them as much you can, after all, the medium is the message!

This year, I’m going to stick to (or at least remember!) every resolution I make. What are you going to do?

What are your New Year’s resolutions? Share in the comments!

 Image courtesy of waferboard (CC by 2.0) via Flickr