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I’ve never been one for standard resolutions like weight loss and exercising. But goals — now there’s a subject I can talk about.

Name a self-help book, I’ve read it. Name a motivational speaker, I’ve listened to them. Unfortunately, you can read every book on the market and listen to every TED talk, but if you don’t follow through, nothing changes.

Every book and talk carried the same message: A goal without a timeline is just a dream. That’s a lovely thought, but it still didn’t inspire me to get off that dang couch or change my eating habits.

Two years ago, I joined Weight Watchers and found myself spending good money with no results. I finally realized that the only motivator that would work for me was the infamous “carrot and the stick.” If I was going to pay good money to lose weight, there better be a rainbow at the end.

So every month as my weight decreased, I paid toward a necklace I had been dreaming of owning. One year to the day later, I was wearing that necklace and was 35 pounds lighter!

I now practice that goal setting with every task I undertake. It could be cleaning the house with the reward of a hot cup of java and an hour of Netflix afterward. Reward yourself, however large or small, and watch your goals unfold.

As for resolutions, I have a confession to make. I did make one several months ago. I lost someone very dear to me who had his whole life in front of him. I resolved then and there that I would never miss an opportunity to tell those I love how much they mean to me. It’s not your standard resolution, but it’s one for me that is non-negotiable.

— Loni Bier, a reader in Daleville



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