Holidays

Resolved: A New You in 2002

The new year symbolizes a time of renewal, rebirth -- and all of those pesky resolutions that will be broken before the month is out.

Every year we vow to exercise, save money, lose weight, get a better job. Every year, we abandon all of our good intentions before the ink on our list is even dry.

So here's an idea: Make your resolutions for 2002 on the Internet. How-to-keep-your-new-years-resolution.com offers a few worthy suggestions about how to, well, keep-your-new-years-resolution:

1. Don't try to do everything at once. You'll have better luck fulfilling one or two goals than you will with a list of fifty.

2. Word your resolutions carefully. Resolutions that are too general are more difficult to keep than those that work toward a specific goal.

3. Make a plan. Ideally, make a working action plan, listing all the steps you need to take.

4. Write it down and put it in a place you'll see it often, like the bathroom mirror, the refrigerator door, the toilet seat.

If you need help staying focused, hiaspire.com will e-mail you a free monthly "Resolution Reminder," full of helpful tips and encouragement.

MyMotivator.com sells nifty online goal-setting software. This self-help Web site is also brimming with testimonials and useful tidbits that should help you through the new year.

If you need still more guidance, newyearsresolutions.com spits out resolutions in a wide range of categories, from job to home to personal improvement. Choose the ones you want, and the site will create your own easily printable, originality-lacking list of resolutions.

At Washington.edu, you can read all about how researchers have found that commitment is the secret to successful resolutions. "Have a strong initial commitment to change, have coping strategies to deal with problems that will come up, and keep track of your progress," they say.

Or let someone else do the work: Astrology.com gives visitors a fun-filled page that instantly matches your sign with an appropriate resolution. You can even get a "New Year's Eve forecast" and an original, real-as-Cleo's-accent horoscope.

But you can probably predict the future as well as anyone: You know that next year, you'll likely be making these same resolutions all over again.

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Anita Trafford