Before you go making your list of resolutions for 2011, make sure you aren't setting yourself up for failure. Some resolutions, after all, are just begging to be broken by February. Here are 10 resolutions you'd be wise NOT to make this year.
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1. Find love.
While it would sure be convenient to find love simply because we've set the intention, life - and fate - doesn't exactly work that way. But while you may not have control over when or how you find love, you do have control over the increasing the odds that it happens. So, instead of resolving to find love, resolve to get involved with more activities that increase the number of people you interact with, do some soul-searching to see if you're making common dating mistakes that are holding you back, and be open to finding love in places and scenarios you wouldn't normally consider (set-ups, online dating, going out with a co-worker, etc.).
2. Lose five to seven pounds.
Five to seven pounds varies so greatly from person to person. It may be a completely insignificant, unnoticeable amount on you. Or, it could be what you end up gaining in muscle weight if you started exercising regularly. If you're feeling uncomfortable in your skin and/or your clothes, a better resolution would be to eat more healthfully and add more physical activity to your schedule so your pants start fitting better.
3. Quit obsessing about [fill in the blank].
Whether it's a love interest, a bad habit, those five pounds you want to lose, or an argument you just can't let go of, telling yourself you're going to quit obsessing about it is a sure-fire way to make sure you keep obsessing about it. Instead, think of what you can add to your life that will occupy some of the time and energy you devote to your obsession.
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4. Have a baby.
Having a baby isn't something that everyone can easily do biologically, and putting pressure on yourself to achieve this goal may only make it that much more difficult. Make a resolution to plan for a baby, including taking steps that can help you get there (saving money, practicing natural family planning, getting acupuncture, etc.), but avoid being too goal-oriented so you don't feel like a failure if you aren't successful.
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5. Quit your job.
If you hate your job, focus instead on ways you can make it better or what you can do to find a better one, but in this economy, don't quit a job unless you have another one lined up first!
6. Convince your significant other to marry you.
Sure, some people simply need time before they feel ready for such a big step, but if you have to do some hard-sell convincing, perhaps your significant other isn't the right person for you.
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7. Quit dating.
Don't pull a Kim Kardashian and swear off dating for a whole year. What happens if you meet your perfect match next month? Are you supposed to just let him or her pass by because you're on some self-imposed dating sabbatical? Definitely take a break if you're feeling burned out, but give yourself the option to jump back in whenever you're ready (or have reason to).
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8. Try to get along better with [fill in the blank].
This is like saying you're going to try to lose 10 pounds. Without some solid steps for getting there, it's really kind of an empty statement. Take this resolution further with at least three things you can actively do in the new year that will improve your relationship with the person in question.
9. Wake up 30 minutes earlier every day to meditate.
If you're never meditated before, five, not 30, minutes is a good place to start. Jumping straight to 30 minutes right off the bat is like trying to run 10 miles after a year of no exercise. Besides, the sleep is probably just as good for you as the om'ing.
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10. Win the lottery.