Love in 2010 – How to Achieve Your Romance Resolutions

January 2, 2010

New Year’s Relationships Resolutions – How to make them stick

Once again we???re fresh in the New Year, and most of us have at least a tiny little list of resolutions: Floss every day. Learn how to play the ukulele. Organize your collection of pan flute CDs. Meet somebody great. (or finally, get rid of somebody not-so-great.)
Relationship resolutions are usually among the hardest to keep, mostly because it???s scary to leave our old patterns and old lovers behind. We vow to ourselves to be brave enough to go on a blind date, stop feeling insecure every time there???s a two-day dating lull, ditch a relationship that???s safe but lackluster, or hold out for Mr. Or Ms. Right, rather than settling for Mr./Ms. In-the-Vicinity. So how do we make sure that our internal promises become reality? We need a plan.

Most experts agree that if you want that dream to become a reality, you???ll need to set a goal. Which means, you can???t just sit around hoping to bump into Prince Charming one day, you???ll need to figure out exactly what you want (any Prince? Or just charming ones?) and how to get it. (Attend polo matches until you get a hit? Befriend a princess? Spend the next six months on a frog-kissing expedition?)

Tick-tock. Give yourself a timeline.
Without a deadline, we all tend to procrastinate and lose motivation. (Honestly speaking, most of us procrastinate even with a deadline.) It???s important to give yourself a manageable timeline that isn???t too far away, (as in, I will be locking lips with a member of the royal family by New Year???s Eve 2011.) If you won???t be able to reach your goal for more than a few months, then break your big goal into more usable, smaller milestones so you won???t get bored or lose momentum.
Your timeline must contain real deadlines, like April 9th, or GroundhogDay, rather than just saying ???someday??? or ???in the next few months.??? ???Someday??? is an illusion, and it never seems to arrive. Mark your goal and your deadline in red ink on your calendar, write it in lipstick on your bathroom mirror, or post a note on your fridge. And then, don???t cut yourself any slack. Make your deadline as unwavering as tax day. A goal without a timeline is just a dream that doesn???t have a fairy-tale???s chance of coming true.

It???s only 536 steps from here to there.
The key to realizing your goal is to work toward it every single day, even if the progress you make is minimal. Sit down with a pen and map out a plan to achieve your goal, and identify the smallest steps you???ll need to take to reach it. Sure, a phone call to the foreign embassy or a tiara fitting may not seem like a major accomplishment, but over time you???ll find you???ve made incredible progress. And before you know it, you???ll be kissing your goal on the lips.

Be accountable.
It???s easy to slip if the only person you???re accountable to is you. Give yourself rewards (pedicure, anyone?) for meeting your milestones and penalties for missing your deadlines. You???re a lot more likely to make those cotillion lessons if the penalty for skipping out is doing your roommate???s laundry for a month. (Ugh! Think of the socks! ) Collaborate with a friend or relative and help each other achieve your New Year???s goals.

If you can believe it, you can be it.
Remember, if you work hard and really believe in yourself you can achieve your goals, whether you want to find your soulmate or be a ???Diamonique??? presenter on the Home Shopping Network. It doesn???t even matter if your chances are a million-to-one. Somebody???s going to be the one. And it might as well be you.


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Dating Coach and Relationships Expert Lisa Daily is the bestselling author of two dating books, Stop Getting Dumped!, How to Date Like a Grownup and the totally funny novel Fifteen Minutes of Shame. You???ve seen her everywhere from Entertainment Tonight to the HITCH movie DVD.

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