by Terry Rogers
The Christmas decorations are put away and New Year’s Eve is a thing of the past. On January 1st, you probably made resolutions to change things for 2018. However, making a new year’s resolution is the easy part. Sticking to that resolution for the rest of the year is much more difficult. It is now the second week of January and you may find yourself slipping already. Just know you are not alone. According to researchers at the University of Scranton, only about 8 percent of people actually achieve their resolutions. Whether you have resolved to lose weight, stop smoking or save money in 2018, these tips can help achieve your goals.
The first step is not to look at a resolution as an all-or-nothing proposition. Instead, break down the goal into small, achievable goals. If your goal is to save money, don’t set your goal to save $1,000 by the end of the year. Instead, resolve to save $40 each payday. If you are paid every other week, you will have saved $1,040 by the end of the year. If you are trying to lose weight, instead of a goal to lose 30 pounds by May, set a goal to lose one or two pounds per week, or if you need a longer goal period, six pounds per month. Research shows that people who break long-term goals into achievable short-term goals are more likely to be successful.
Experts recommend not trying to correct more than one issue at a time. If you want to quit smoking and lose weight, you may want to concentrate on one of those goals before tackling the other. Trying to correct too many behaviors could become overwhelming and lead you to give up. If you make mistakes, don’t give up. Eating a brownie when you are trying to lose weight or missing the gym for a week because you had a deadline at work does not mean you failed. Just get back on track and move forward.
Another way to make it easier to reach your goals is to share your experiences with family and friends. If you want to quit smoking, join a smoking cessation support group. There are many support groups available at local hospitals and clinics for everything from anxiety to weight loss to financial advice. Sometimes sharing experiences with others going through the same thing can help you stick to your own resolutions.
Family and friends can also be good support for you, but there are times when you need a professional. When you find yourself struggling, ask for help. If you are overwhelmed or struggling to meet your goals, consider professional assistance. If you need help with weight loss goals, talk to a nutritionist or personal trainer who may be able to help you set better or more realistic goals. If you are struggling financially, talk to a financial advisor who can guide you with sound advice based on your own situation. In some cases, a candid conversation with your family doctor may help you identify why you aren’t meeting your goals and what you can do to change that pattern.
The most important thing to do in order to keep your new year’s resolutions and achieve the goals you set when you made those resolutions is to never give up. You will slip, and you will make mistakes. The key is to not let those mistakes derail you completely.
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