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New Year's Resolutions You Can Keep

Keeping your New Year's resolution can be a challenge. What is the key to success?

Nashville, Ark. – Have you made your New Year’s resolutions yet? If you are like most Americans you will have good intentions of losing weight, getting healthier, exercising more, spending less, and the list can go on and on. The problem is that we may keep it up for a week or two, but most of us have failed to make our New Year’s resolutions stick. When this happens too often, we may decide to not make any resolutions at all. It is important to remember the saying, “Where there’s a will, there’s a way.” In any major challenge, the key to success lies in persistence.

            Consider this: Henry Ford the founder of the first automobile and the Ford Motor Company went bankrupt twice before he invented the “horseless carriage”. Abraham Lincoln lost nine out of eleven elections. In helping to save France, the teenager Joan of Arc persistently listened to her inner guidance and pushed through one major obstacle after another. In creating the electric light bulb, Thomas Edison went through hundreds of failed experiments.

            So if you’ve tried to reach a worthwhile goal in past years and haven’t yet succeeded, you’re in some mighty good company. Refuse to be discouraged. Know that success is within your reach. Light up your face with a smile, and keep on giving it your best!

            Here are a few extra tips for keeping those New Year’s resolutions:

  • Don’t make to many resolutions at one time. In fact, it’s best to focus on one goal at a time. And make sure it’s a goal that you really, really want to accomplish.
  • Break your goal down into small, manageable steps. If you want to lose 20 pounds by summer, break it down into 5 pounds per month. That way you can begin making modest progress toward you goal right away.
  • Get others on your side. Tell the important people in your life about your goal, and ask for them to help you in succeeding. The more people you have pulling for you, the greater your chances of success.
  • Make creative use of reminders. Little prompts can help you stay focused on achieving your resolution, be it notes on the bathroom mirror, a symbol of your goal displayed on the refrigerator door, etc.
  • Say no to negative thinking the instant it crops up. Affirm to yourself a key positive phrase such as: “I know that within me is the wisdom and strength to succeed. Whatever I set my mind to, I can accomplish.” Say it with conviction and optimism, again and again.
  • Regularly visualize yourself achieving your goal. Use all your senses to feel the reality of your success.
  • Finally, remember that you’re in this thing for the long haul. Don’t expect to slip up, but be prepared for temporary failure in case it happens. If you do slip, as soon as you can, get back up and try again. Keep in mind that persistence is the mother of success. Always try once more.

No stranger to difficulties and setbacks, Abraham Lincoln once said these words of wisdom and encouragement: “You can have anything you want – if you want it badly enough. You can be anything you want to be, do anything you set out to accomplish if you hold to that desire with singleness of purpose.”

I hope your reach all your goals in 2017. If the University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service can be of assistance to you in the coming year, please don’t hesitate to give us a call at 870-845-7517. Happy New Year!

Recipe of the Week

            Black-eyed peas are a symbol of good luck. According to tradition if you eat some on New Year’s Day you will have good luck all year long. Here is a tasty way to make sure you get your share of good luck this year.


2 cans Black-eyed Peas, drained

1 cup chopped green pepper

½ cup chopped onion

2 Tablespoons chopped fresh jalapeno pepper (optional)

½ cup of your favorite Italian-style dressing

            Open peas. Rinse and drain peas in a colander. Chop onion and green pepper. Mix peas and vegetables together in mixing bowl. Measure and pour dressing over mixture in bowl. Stir to coat.

            This is a great cold salad or side dish. Yield: 8 servings


By Jean Ince
County Extension Agent - Staff Chair
The Cooperative Extension Service
U of A System Division of Agriculture

Media Contact: Jean Ince
County Extension Agent - Staff Chair
U of A Division of Agriculture
Cooperative Extension Service
421 N. Main St, Nashville AR 71852
(870) 845-7517


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