Realistic Resolutions

By Kary Woodruff

It's tough making resolutions that are attainable and successful. Nearly 45 percent of Americans set New Years Resolutions, such as losing weight, getting fit, spending more time with family, and getting out of debt. Only 12 percent of these individuals end up meeting their goals.‚Äč

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With such a low success rate, we may be apt to forgo resolutions. Yet individuals who make goals may be more likely to succeed than those who do not.

Try rethinking your resolutions in a way that sets you up for success in establishing life-long behaviors.

TIPS FOR SETTING GOALS

Make Your Goals SMART!
  1. SPECIFIC - Instead of saying, "I'll eat better," say, "I'll eat a fruit and vegetable every day."
  2. MEASURABLE - Quantify your goal. Instead of saying, "I'll lose weight," say, "I'll lose 10 pounds by the end of the year."
  3. ACTIONABLE - How will you achieve the goal? Write out the steps you plan to take.
  4. REALISTIC - Is the goal attainable for you? If you have had success with weight loss in the past, then setting a goal to lose 50 pounds may not be a realistic starting point.
  5. TIMELY - Set a date/time by when you'll achieve your goal. We work better when we have deadlines.
Solicit Social Support
We know when we get friends and family involved, our success rate goes up. Not only does it provide encouragement, it helps increase accountability.

Be Willing to Reassess
Don't see resolutions as unbreakable promises to yourself - this can lead you to feel like you've failed. Check in with your goals after time and see if you need a new action plan. It's okay to make changes - considering the alternative is to just stop all together.

Finally, it's important to keep your resolutions positive. Making resolutions that focus on what we'll gain instead of what we'll give up, prevents us from feeling deprived.