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Resolution strategies for a new year, new you
Getting fit is a common New Year's resolution.

ARA - Want to lose weight, spend more time with your family or get a better job in 2009? These are just a few common New Year's resolutions that many of us make in January and often forget by mid-March. This year, if you want to keep your resolutions and truly change your life for the better, follow some expert strategies for success.

"The New Year is a great time to self-evaluate and take steps toward your goals," said John G. Miller, author of the books "QBQ! The Question Behind the Question" and "Flipping the Switch."

"But in order to set those goals and stay focused, many of us need to shift our way of thinking. With the right strategies, you can make permanent changes to your life," Miller said.

Here are some of Miller's tips for making your New Year's resolutions stick:

1. Don't underestimate the power of personal accountability. If you can shift the way you think to focus on personal choices and responsibility, you can better position yourself for change in your life.

2. Write it down and set a deadline. Write your goals down and consider tracking your progress in a journal. Set a deadline for when you plan to complete your goal.

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3. Reach out for support. Tell a close friends or family members and encourage them to share their goals with you too.

4. Bite-size goals are best. You might want to lose 15 pounds, but you can't do it all at once. Try a goal like, "I will lose 2 pounds per month." For a better chance at success, set your goals for the long term, but measure in the short term.

5. Be aware of your feelings. When negative emotions arise, refocus your thinking. Miller suggests asking an effective question, called the question behind the question. "Instead of asking, 'Why does this have to be so hard,' ask 'What can I do right now to change my thinking?' "

6. Focus on the benefits of the change. When you start to drift from your goal, remind yourself why you have the goal in the first place.

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