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How to make a proper New Year’s resolution

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Ring in the new year with a realistic resolution!Happy holidays everyone! We know you’ve probably been enjoying presents and snow and whatnot these past few weeks, but we have something important to discuss: New Year’s Resolutions.

Oh boy. Resolutions are often the bane of our existence but every year we try to follow through! We gave up Perez Hilton two years ago and that’s the only one we’ve stuck too. Other attempts have not been so successful (i.e. drink less, save more money, get to the gym, get laid more often).

So how do you make a New Year’s resolution that you can keep? We’ll discuss the reasons why certain resolutions work and other don’t. Suggestions, silly comments and general frivolity will ensue.

First of all, let us dissect the resolutions that are just completely nonsensical…. meaning, of course, they’d make us the happiest. Things like winning the lottery, joining a boy band and becoming a princess are all unlikely and completely out of your control. Ergo, while these are all great things (don’t lie… you know you want to be part of the next Backstreet Boys), they can not be your New Year’s resolution. End of story.

There are other goals one could make that combine a mixture of luck and personal action. Want to get a raise or a new job? That doesn’t just get handed to you, but it requires action on your employers part as well. Want to score a boyfriend or girlfriend? You need to find someone who actually likes you…and is alive. It is impossible for life to imitate “Lars and the Real Girl” no matter how cute Ryan Gosling was in that movie.

Resolutions like these should be a ‘sub-‘ New Year’s resolution. Make it a goal for the year, but not your number one priority in terms of changing yourself.

See, New Year’s resolutions are about making a personal change that will affect you for the rest of your life. A job might get you somewhere but the job you have during your twenties will almost certainly not be the job you have when you’re thirty.

Quitting smoking, however, is a perfect goal to begin in 2011 as it gives you a full year to gradually cut down on a vice.

We don’t have any good advice on how to quit smoking, that’s best left to a doctor as giving up tobacco can lead to withdrawal symptoms and general crankiness. Better now than never, however, so get help if you want it! You should. We know you’ve heard it before… but smoking kills. It kills babies. Do you want to be a baby killer? Yah, we didn’t think so.

By the end of 2011, you should be smoke-free and ready to start another goal. The cycle goes on and on.

We also suggest being as specific as possible when making your resolutions. “I want to lose weight” isn’t the best idea as there is no number to achieve. Dropping pounds can be difficult and with no specific end in sight, it can get hard to continue pursuing the goal.

Instead stick to something like “I want to lose three pounds per month” or “I want to lose 25 pounds this year.” That way, you can set a long-term plan to do this.

Tip: hiring a personal trainer can help you target certain areas of the body that often store hidden fat and offer specific exercises that pertain to your body type. It’s much better than just attacking the treadmill and getting frustrated.

Losing weight, while a great resolution, is also expensive. Gym memberships can cost a lot, and a personal trainer can cost extra… they also see a massive drop in attendance after February as the excitement of setting goals wears off.

To save money, we have a few ideas. A lot of gyms offer a free trial period (read the fine print!) where you can try out a trainer. This might sound horrible, but get some exercises that feel good and know will work then bolt before the trial ends. Keep a list of the exercises and you’ve got your workouts!

Friends are there to share, too, so if they go to the gym see if they have any tips on how to lose weight without using hard-to-access equipment like a treadmill or the elliptical. Sometimes all you need is a dumb bell and a yoga mat. Speaking of yoga! We love it, and if you get OnDemand with cable go to “Sports & Fitness” then “Exercise TV” and abuse the shit out of it. It’s super easy and you can do it alone without other people staring at your horrible form.

The most important thing to remember, however, is that resolutions should be for yourself only. If someone is telling you to change, don’t make it your resolution. Chances are said person is toxic and negatively affecting your life so maybe your goal should be to cut them out. That’s what our March 2011 horoscope said to do in Cosmo. We’re seriously thinking about it.

Anyway, we hope you get what we’re saying. It’s all about YOU! How often do you hear that?

This change should affect something that you believe can benefit your personality, health or life in general. The key is to remain positive; have an “I think I can attitude” and create a year-long plan that will help you achieve the goals you set for yourself. Be sure to write it out in a journal and then keep track of your progress.

In addition, you should reward yourself every time you get closer to your goal. This does not mean eating a gallon of ice cream every time you lose a pound! However, if you’ve lost weight during the month, maybe treat yourself to a night out. Or, conversely, if you quit smoking, don’t have a cigarette just because you know you’ve cut down! Do something else, like drink copious amounts of booze! We jest… but we assume you get the picture.

Whether or not you decide to actually make a resolution for 2011, have a safe and happy New Year’s Eve!