New-Year_ResolutionsTips for Keeping Your Resolutions

What if you knew the secret to reaching your health potential? Making a commitment to your health does not need to be an overwhelming process. It is the time of year when many people make New Year’s resolutions only to find that they have fall short of expectations by the end of the year. According to the American Psychological Association, the majority of Americans focus their goals on health when looking at a brand new year ahead. In 2004, the top three resolutions were to lose weight, quit smoking, and regularly exercise. If you have similar health goals, here are some tips to keep you on track.

Start Small, Go Big

Most people who are successful in attaining their goals start by breaking larger goals into smaller, manageable pieces. They focus on the steps of the journey rather than the end goal. For instance, if you want to lose 50 pounds, the goal could be to lose 1-2 pounds a week over the course of the year. Smaller goals could include adding more vegetables to your meals and exercising three times a week.

Be Goal Smart

The best goals are those that are:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Achievable
  • Relevant
  • Time-constrained

Specific

Be specific about what you are trying to accomplish.

Define who:       I will save…

Define what:      $100 from my bi-weekly pay…

Define how:       By setting up an automatic withdrawal to a savings account…

Define why:       So I can save $1200 for a vacation in the next year.


Measurable

How will you know when you’ve met your goals? Set a measurable outcome.

Goal:                     I want to lose 35 pounds.

Measure:            I will lose 1-2 pounds over the course of the next 17 weeks.


Achievable

Put most simply, achievable goals will keep you motivated. These types of goals have a time frame and are measurable. Most goals are achievable, but if you lose motivation, you should reassess if you have set the bar too high. Is your goal realistic?


Relevant

A goal needs to be of value to you. For instance, if you are considering becoming more fiscally responsible in the New Year, define your why. There are many positive outcomes to financial stability including less stress due to better managing funds and the ability to save money for your future.


Time-constrained

Set your target date and assign a timeline to your smaller steps. A deadline for your goal will keep you focused. However, it is important to allow yourself flexibility.


Find Support Through Technology

When trying to reach a weight loss goal, many experts suggest a workout buddy to hold you accountable. While being connected may have been more challenging in the past, now there is technology at your fingertips. Social media can provide both a source for accountability and a network of support. There are apps for goal tracking. Whether your resolution involves a diet or your budget, there are apps that help count your calories while others can help you stick to a budget. Studies have shown that people who track their calorie intake are more successful at weight loss.

Most Importantly, Don’t Give Up

“Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t – you’re right.” ― Henry Ford

How many times have you made the statement, “This is going to be the year that I…”? New Year’s resolutions aren’t just for New Years! Many people apply pressure to themselves to achieve goals and give up when they do not achieve a new version of themselves in the New Year. Try making goals throughout the year utilizing the SMART method. The smaller goals you achieve, the more willpower you gain. Remember, you are only human, and even if you experience a momentary derailment, you have not failed. At any time, you can still get back on track to achieving your goals.

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