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8 Simple Rules to Hit Your Goals

The new beginning for gay men in Atlanta in 2017 is going to require a new attitude – and this sure-fire pathway to success.

By Mike Fleming

Gay men can slack and give ourselves too many breaks, while alternately being too hard on ourselves at the same time. Neither of those is good for making a resolution stick.

Hurtling into another year convinced that turning the calendar means turning over a new leaf? It’s time to learn to once and for all navigate those New Year’s Resolution twists, turns, bumps and byways to making a better you.

Lasting change follows a well-worn path, from the initial “Commit to it,” all the way to “Fuck it” or “Keep it.”

Ready? Set. Go!

Commit.
Promises to yourself can be the most difficult to keep. The key is to be realistic. Pick one goal, not several, and break it down into doable pieces. Start with an easier mini-step as Goal No. 1 by April, the next step by August, etc.

Fantasize.
Visualization is a great tool. Daydream about how awesome life is with your new behavior, and be specific. What does it look and feel like? Again, be realistic and think small-and-growing.

Research.
New You is worth an investment. Buy a book about your resolved area of interest, or splurge on a fun accessory to complement the new you. Then put it to good use: A headful of technique and cute workout gear aren’t exercise.

Roadblocks.
Self-doubt is going to happen. You can and should admit it so you can plan for it. Be ready to nip negative thoughts in the bud and force yourself not to wallow in the mire.

Setback acceptance.
If you were realistic, and you were because you’re listening, you knew this time would come. Don’t hate on yourself, but don’t ignore it either. Think it through, learn a lesson, and adjust. Vow to do just a little better next time. Perfection is the enemy of good.

Rewards.
Now comes the fun part. Every time you resist a cigarette or forego dessert, or improve your performance at the gym, celebrate. Mindfully acknowledging success trades hard work with positive feelings. Mark every progress and enjoy it.

Force of habit.
Before your resolution is second nature, permanent habits are made by a series of decisions. Force it even when you don’t feel like it. Remind yourself that you’ll be glad you did it, and get off your ass. Then celebrate that you did.

Keep it, Tweak it, or Fuck It.
Eventually, new habits mean that you have internalized the behavior. Look how far you’ve come. Reassess if it’s working the way you wanted, needs adjustments, or truly not worth doing anymore. Think about your next goal! Return to “Commit” and repeat.

Get It? Got it! Good!
Now go learn the three questions to ask about each goal so that you can make Resolutions Within Reason.

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