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It’s Never too Late to Make Resolutions and Set Goals

By: Nina Amir

If you've gotten caught up in the momentum of a hectic January, you might still be trying to find a quiet moment to think about your goals for 2007. You might still be "working on" or ruminating over resolutions you haven't found time to write down. Or the winter doldrums might have set in, and your vision of a wonderful new year might have already faded.

You might even have decided that if you haven't written down your goals and visions for the New Year by now, you might as well not bother at all.

Take heart. It is never too late to set goals. You can initiate change in your life at any time, but February is as good a time as any. In fact, some people find the winter months, which tend to push us towards introspection, a great time to cuddle up and figure out what it is they really want from life this year.

Plus, if you have a desire to make 2007 the year when you successfully create the changes you desire, you better start working towards that end now. Otherwise, 2007 will be no different than any other year.

While many people don't even bother to set goals for the New Year, only one out of five people who do actually achieve their New Year's resolutions. So many people fail because they force themselves to try and change quickly. Then they give up when they don't see immediate results.
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new years eve party In addition, many people rush to make big changes. If you tend to feel you must make your resolutions and take action upon them during the first days of January, slow down. You're more likely to achieve the results you want if you move towards your goals slowly and deliberately.

Plus, you have to be ready for change, and you have to possess a desire to change in order to actually implement change that sticks. You will be more motivated if you "go with the flow" and plan and take action when the time feels right and you feel ready to move forward.

There is something to be said for setting a definite starting date for the changes you desire, however. Without such a starting point, you might simply continue putting change off until it "feels right." This could be a great way to procrastinate. Additionally, your resolutions should have with deadlines for completion. As long as you have a time frame for change to occur, you will work towards that end. Without this, it's easy to flounder around without really making headway towards your goal.

Also, don't expect change to happen in large leaps forward. If you do, you'll be discouraged when your changes don't manifest quickly and in large quantities. If you want to lose 50 pounds, for example, you can't expect to do so in one week. See all change happening like weight loss – one pound at a time, a little each week, until one day you step on the scale and you weigh 50 pounds less than you did when you first set your weight-loss goal. Plan to take baby steps towards all your goals, and you'll see your resolutions manifesting into reality a little bit at a time.

To successfully create change, you need to approach change differently. See change as a seed you are planting. Just as seeds take time to grow – in fact, you can't force them to grow– so change happens in its own time. By cultivating the soil, planting the seed, and then watering, fertilizing and weeding around it, you allow the plant to grow strong and bear fruit. In the same way, we must nurture and cultivate change in our lives – rather than just wishing for it or expecting it to happen overnight.

To plant seeds of change, try moving through the following four steps:

1. First, cultivate the soil of your psyche by being willing to allow things to change and truly desiring change.

2. Pick out your seeds by writing down one or two – not 10 or 20 – specific things you'd like to change, such as losing 10 pounds, lessening stress or finding a new job. Plant those seeds in the fertile ground of your willingness and desire to change.

3. Fertilize your dreams and goals by visualizing them as already present. Be grateful for them now – even before they arrive! Write your desires on a card or post-it to keep them handy and look at them throughout your day. Take baby steps toward your goals everyday.

4. When the flowers bloom and the fruits ripen, celebrate! Your dream is now reality! Be grateful for the harvest.

Whether you set you resolutions on January 1st or February 1st makes little difference as long as you are serious about achieving your goals and have a true desire to create change in your life. So, stop using the excuse that it is too late to write resolutions, that you are stuck in the winter doldrums or that you don't know how to change. Make 2007 the year you set and keep your resolutions by carefully planting seeds of change and watching them grow and bear fruit.

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