Every Jan. 1, millions of Americans put together a list of things that they want to do — or not do — in the new year. And while the lists are admirable and despite our most sincere intentions, the majority of people fail before the month of February has begun.

But if you’re really serious about putting an end to smoking, saving more money, completing those home improvements or finishing that book you started five years ago, there are a few things you can do to achieve success.

Specify your goals and then measure how you’re doing regularly.

Make sure your goals are attainable — make sure they’re things that can actually be done.

Also, realize that change doesn’t occur overnight. Rather, it happens in a timely, orderly fashion.

And if you’re serious about keeping those resolutions, you have to be willing to discipline yourself. That means saying either yes or no depending on your goals.

It also helps to include some kind of affirmation or words of positive thinking each day — from reading the Daily Word or the Bible to motivational messages penned by others.

Last, but certainly not least, it’s important to stay focused on your strengths, your proven skills and abilities. In today’s vernacular we often say one should “stay in their lane.”

These are words of advice from life coaches like the District’s own Bershan Shaw who survived breast cancer and turned her challenges into simple strategies for survival.

You can do it. Just keep the faith.

WI Guest Author

This correspondent is a guest contributor to The Washington Informer.

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