So, have your New Year's resolutions once again found you where they met you in previous years? That is, right there stuck only in the New Year? If you are like most of us, your resolutions fall short of the term. If you find that your resolutions dissolve into something you must constantly re-visit or resolve every year, then either you are insane or, more likely, just human and maybe a bit uninspired. Goals can be fitness or health related, and they may also be lifestyle related. Goals are meant to improve you. This year, work on creating strategic and goal-oriented resolutions that stick and that are resolved by the year's end. Sure, that is much easier said than done, but here are some ways to help:

1. The best way to make your goals stick is to make goals that make sense and are realistically matched to the work you can put in to achieve those goals.

2. Take note of the long- and short-term time frame in which to complete these goals. Some goals take longer than others and some require more effort. Figure out the time commitments for your goals so you are not prematurely disappointed by what you think is a lack of results and wasted effort.

3. Know the specifics of your goal. Think about exactly what you want to achieve and the direct steps or processes that will lead you where your goals are taking you. Also know who to ask for assistance.

4. Be committed to your goal. Persistence pays and perspiration may occur. Be prepared to work at your goals, especially if you begin to fall short or fail to see results.

5. You've got to want it. Anything that is worthwhile may not be easily attained, but your desire to see it come to fruition should compel you to stick with it. Make sure your goal is something you value so that you can always remind yourself why your goal is important and thus be motivated to do what is necessary to reach it. Goals such as better health, strength or image can also be used to find others who may be in the same goal pursuit. If you find yourself lacking motivation, re-evaluate what you want to achieve. Remember, resolutions are for any time -- not just New Year's -- so if you need to start again or change plans, don't be afraid.

6. Support always strengthens and solidifies. Be sure to keep positive supporters of your goals. Supporters keep you accountable and push you through rough patches that may exist on your path.

7. Embrace your success whether it's big or small. It's important to acknowledge the results of your labor. When it comes to goals, these small successes lead to the overall picture of success.

8. Write your goals and make them plain. Go one step further and note your goals so you can see them. This makes the goals come alive. Yes, seeing is believing! Writing your goals also partly locks you in to feeling like you must and will achieve them. Also, positive words and advice that coincide with or reinforce your goals serve as inspiration.

9. Evaluation and reflection are key. In order to ensure that you avoid the resolutions re-solve dilemma that is always looming, be sure to find a way that works well for you to track your progress incrementally. This evaluation can be a reflection of your progress every so often or a look at your allotted time frame to check if you are where you should be to realistically reach your goals.

Use these suggestions to help yourself actually resolve your resolutions! For specific help contact me at tenaj.ferguson@richmond.edu