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Tips for resolutions that will stick

Start the new year off right with the help of the West Linn library


Every year, as the ball drops and everyone around me is shouting “10 ... 9 ... 8 ...” in unison, my heart gets a little lighter. Every rough week and heartbreak, every disappointment and frustration of the past year seems to rush past me and out the door as we count down the seconds to Jan. 1.

I may give an extra thought or two to the good times, every smile and giggle, every accomplishment and triumph. But they too whoosh out the door the closer I get to that final second. Hope fills me in those last moments to the new year, and that is why, without a doubt, it is my favorite holiday.

by: SUBMITTED PHOTO - Pick up a book on learning to play the guitar and learn a new talent in 2014.

New Year’s Eve gives everyone the opportunity to introspectively take an account of their lives and decide how they want to improve. Common resolutions are losing weight, spending more time with family, quitting smoking, getting out of debt or getting a better job. If you’re like me, you have about 10-15 resolutions each year. It’s a wonderful practice, but with it comes the eventual failure. The clichéd joke is that you set your resolutions in January only to give up on them in February.

This is a fairly accurate statement, since about 88 percent of resolutions fail. How can we ensure that our well-intentioned goals meet with success? By following these three steps:

1. Make only one resolution. Too often we bog ourselves down with a multitude of virtues and qualities we wish to have but disregard our capacity for change. You’re not being fair to yourself by taking on too much. You still have to live your life. Be kind to yourself, your schedule and your poor brain and focus on one area you’d like to change.

2. Create habits instead of making big changes. Instead of turning your life upside down to meet your goals, try taking baby steps. If you want to get in shape, start by taking a walk around the block every day after work. It may seem like nothing, but these daily little changes will become habits, and habits are hard to break.

by: SUBMITTED PHOTO - Get your finances in order with the latest issue of Money at the library.

3. Focus on the positive, not the negative. So many of our resolutions focus on negative thinking. The focus should be on why you are making this change and not the cause. You want to get out of debt so you are less financially stressed. You want to lose weight to look good and feel good. You want to spend more time with your family because you love them. Keep the positive results in mind instead of punishing yourself for imagined crimes.

If you are ready to start thinking resolutions, stop by the West Linn Public Library. We have a wealth of information on everything from healthy eating to learning a new skill to taking up a fun new hobby, and we’re excited to help you find your next big thing.

Who are you going to be in 2014? Happy New Year!



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