For many of us the start of a new year symbolizes a new and fresh approach to life. It can be a good time to evaluate our habits both good and bad. For example, many people resolve to start exercising to lose weight. That’s a great resolution because weight loss directly impacts our overall health in very positive ways. Just watch one TV episode of ” Biggest Losers”! Unfortunately, research shows that about 87% of people who start out with good intentions quit their exercise program after six months. There are extra in-depth ideas on the following link and extra strategies to adopt for keeping those New Year’s Resolutions.
Even with our best intentions we can inadvertently set ourselves up for failure. Here are some suggestions to help keep you on your resolution track:
- Be specific. A goal of getting your house in order isn’t specific and can set you up for failure. Pick one thing to do at a time and complete that task before moving on to others.
- Make it measurable. Telling yourself you need to lose some weight typically won’t work. Setting a goal of a pound a week is structured and concrete.
- Set a specific timeframe. Pledge to make a budget and track your expenditures for the next two months.
- Keep your resolution realistic. Don’t set such high expectations that frustration and discouragement takes over. Experts speak to breaking bad habits and other strategies for resolutions from the University of Maryland Medical Center website Where to Begin: Expert Advice on Maintaining Resolutions.
- Lastly, but equally important: understanding that emotional ‘stuckness’ can block us from achieving our goals. Using spending to help alleviate feelings of sadness prevent us from becoming fiscally responsible. There is encouragement from the HealthyMinds.org, and it may be especially helpful if you are feeling “stuck”.
Remember: Taking responsibility leads to feeling in control. Feeling in control leads to empowerment. Empowerment allows us to be motivated, energetic and optimistic.
Let’s look to the future with a hopeful heart.