New Years Resolutions

Most people do not set reasonable goals for themselves. They look at the end result or where they want to ultimately be and forget to consider where they are presently. Here are some specific examples of ways to shift goals to increase success:

1. If you have not exercised in the last year then don’t set a goal to exercise every day. This will set you up for failure. Consider a resolution to take a walk every day for 10 minutes or to go to the gym 2 times week. Remember, you can always increase the goal once you have accomplished it.

2. A healthy weight loss program allows for up to 2 pounds per week so that goal for 40 pounds in the first month is unreasonable. Goals are also more achievable if you break them down. Consider focusing on losing the first 5 or 10 pounds. Your long term goal can be 40 pounds by the end of the year.

3. Breaking bad habits is a common goal.

  • Going cold turkey when you currently smoke 2 packs of cigarettes each day will be difficult if not impossible. Consider a reduction in smoking or limit the area you allow yourself to smoke in. Limiting the area often results in less smoking. What about talking to your Doctor for some medical assistance with this addiction?
  • “I’m never going to bite my nails again!” Visions of manicures dance in our heads. If you have a long standing habit then it is often challenging to break it. Consider using the nail polish that tastes bad to remind yourself when you are biting your nails since we are often unaware of these bad habits. Search for ways to increase awareness and allow for the “choice” to change.

These are just a few examples of how to set reasonable goals that will increase the likelihood of being successful. Start with small changes and add additional goals in increments when you have accomplished the first one. Try to arrange a “buddy system” so that you can help each other succeed by working together and offering moral support. While it is often not needed, there is always professional help available in your community if you are struggling to succeed.