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Achieving Your New Year's Resolution: Surefire Tricks No One Told You

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So, how's your New Year's resolution coming along? Given up already? Well, I haven't. So enthusiastic am I, that I've already completed four weeks of my resolution even though we're only one week into the New Year. And I don't even consider myself an overachiever.

I have lost five pounds overall and two inches in my middle. I have toned my body and am building my abdominals. I don't think this resolution is destined to be broken either. As a matter of fact, I can guarantee it won't be.

How have I accomplished four weeks of a New Year's resolution when we're only just over a week into 2012? Easy.

First, I started early, the day after Thanksgiving. That way I could have that last indulgence, but still be on my way to looking terrific for Christmas and maybe even fit into that sexy dress on New Year's Eve. After all, these are the most important holidays when we are around friends and family and want to look and feel our best.

Getting a head start on your New Year's resolution is the smartest thing you can do because when the New Year does start, you've got a proven track record behind you, one you're not nearly as likely to break. After all, it's hard to quit when you're ahead.

My resolution was to get rid of my beer belly. By starting early, I'd have a good chance to practice resisting the major beer-guzzling hurdles of Christmas and New Year's, events likely responsible for at least one pound of gut each.

And then I did two other things that no one ever tells you about.

1. If your goal is to lose weight, go to the gym, or do anything that has to do with your health, some pre-training will help you get there. Start by reading magazines or books about health, nutrition, strength training, sports, exercise, etc so that you educate yourself and develop an interest in your goals before you set out to achieve them. Keep reading them while continuing to reach your goals.

This helps engage your mind with your body, rather than the mind being on the other side of the planet like a distant cousin. Big difference.

2. Now that you've built the mind-body connection, add something with "spirit," so you now have mind-body-spirit, all three of them working toward your goal. My solution was yoga. Yoga connects your physical body with the mind and the spirit that wants to eat better, feel better and be more in balance with nature. Huge difference.

Spirit has long been the key to Japanese martial arts such as judo and aikido. The Japanese word "budo" encompasses spirit as a way of life. You can choose anything to help you connect with spirit be it yoga, meditation or even just playing your favorite sport, but it helps at the beginning to choose something you can do every day, so you connect with your spirit as often as possible. Without this mind-body-spirit connection, you'll surely fail.

"Spirit" is often aided by teachers, who help us develop in this area. If you feel a teacher (guru, master, personal trainer, nutritionist, psychologist, whatever you want to call them) will help you, or at least help keep your spirit on track, then join a club, class or session, or engage a trainer or mentor. Don't expect to be able to do things all by yourself. We've relied on teachers (parents, school teachers, professors, bosses, friends) our whole lives, so why shouldn't we now?

With the powerful mind-body-spirit trifecta behind me, the next time I eyed that beautiful cold beer winking at me in the fridge, my mouth salivated, my mind said "Ooooh," but the spirit hadn't the slightest bit of interest. So I just winked back and walked away.

Now you're probably thinking it's too late to start your New Year's resolution early this year. Heck no. Make it your Fabulous February Resolution. But start now!

For more by Amy Chavez, click here.

For more on making it a healthy new year, click here.

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