MILWAUKEE, WI - As shouts of "Happy New Year!" ring out around the world in the earliest moments of 2011, many people also will be making resolutions for something better in the New Year.

While some fall short of accomplishing their January 1 promise, setting smaller, more definite goals is one way to achieve success. TOPS Club, Inc. (Take Off Pounds Sensibly), the nonprofit weight-loss support organization, shares the following tips for realistically planning - and achieving - one's resolutions:

1.    Be specific
Determine an exact goal. Instead of resolving to lose weight, consider a specific amount or goal weight and time frame, such as losing 20 pounds by the Fourth of July and 20 more pounds by Thanksgiving. No matter what the resolution, setting small goals will be easier to achieve one step at a time.

2.    Make a plan for success
Construct a "road map" as a guide to achieve your goal.  Consider what it will take to accomplish the plan. For example, to lose weight, healthy eating, exercise, and joining a support group like TOPS is paramount. Consider keeping a journal to keep track of progress ups and downs.

3.    Review the plan along the way
Once a week, take time and evaluate progress. Review the journal and determine if the goals need revamping or ramping up. Everyone makes mistakes. When that happens, avoid falling into the traps of shame and guilt.

4.    Keep resolutions realistic
Be realistic in goal setting. If completely eliminating a behavior is too difficult, consider resolving to do it less often. 

5.    Make it personally meaningful
A resolution should be something an individual desires to change or achieve and should not be dictated by family members or what society says is good for you.   Resolutions without strong, personal motivation can be doomed to fail.

6.    Tell others about the resolution
Sharing goals with friends and family can be an outstanding support mechanism and a source of gentle nudging if a detour from the plan takes place.

TOPS Club Inc. (Take Off Pounds Sensibly), the original, nonprofit weight-loss support and wellness education organization, was established more than 62 years ago to champion weight-loss support and success.  Founded and headquartered in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, TOPS promotes successful, affordable weight management with a philosophy that combines healthy eating, regular exercise, wellness information, and support from others at weekly chapter meetings. TOPS has about 170,000 members in nearly 10,000 chapters throughout the United States and Canada.

Visitors are welcome to attend their first TOPS meeting free of charge. To find a local chapter, view or call (800) 932-8677.


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