Do you start out each new year with lots of plans to improve your life but, after a few weeks, lose your enthusiasm? If so, here are a few ideas to help you keep the best of your New Year’s resolutions:

Make realistic resolutions. Don’t try too much too quickly. For example, if you are presently not reading your scriptures at all but your resolution is to read half an hour every day, you may be setting yourself up for failure. It may be more realistic to resolve just to read something, even if it is just a few verses, every day. After that becomes habit, then you can work on increasing your goal.

Set a series of smaller goals. Divide your big goal into smaller sections. Say, for instance, you want to save money. Instead of leaving your goal so vague, plan a reasonable amount to work toward in the first month, then a larger amount to have saved at the first quarter of the year. These smaller goals will keep you encouraged as you make progress.

Make reminders. After you decide the things you would like to work on, make several reminders for yourself. The old method of taping a sign on your mirror or somewhere where you will see it regularly might work. But if you usually ignore your signs, try something different. Sometimes simple things can work. Take the resolution to read your scriptures every day, for example. When you get out of bed in the morning, place your scriptures on your pillow. It will be difficult to say you forgot when you have to move them before going to bed.

Be kind to yourself. If you find you’ve made resolutions that are making you miserable, be willing to change them. After all, they are your resolutions. Sometimes you can resolve to do things that are really too big to handle. Instead of giving up as a failure, modify your goals so that they will be a true help and result in improvement.

[photo] Photography by Scott Tanner