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Are New Year's Resolutions Possible?

Setting goals for the New Year is a great tradition that many of us participate in, but unfortunately the success rate of achieving resolutions is very poor. The success rate of actual completion of goals has been reported at 12%. So how can we be more successful in reaching goals that we have set out for ourselves? 

First, it’s important to understand that setting a meaningless goal at the beginning of the year may not be as helpful or useful as creating positive intentions or even healthy habits. The research has shown that healthy habits can positively influence overall lifestyle rather than aiming for achieving goals. 

Here are some tips to help you stay focused in the New Year:

Get in the Right Mindset:

You have to believe you can accomplish your goal in order to actually reach it! Get motivated and excited about your goal and get others involved too. If you plan with a friend or family member, you won’t feel alone while working toward your goal and doing it with others can be more fun too!

Cautious Selection:

Spend time selecting your goal. Often people make a nonchalant statement like “I’m going to lose weight in the New Year,” but really do not take the time to think the goal through and really plan what weight loss will mean for them. The selection is important to keep you on track so really think about something that you want to accomplish, something that is important to you. If you are passionate about your goal and it is something you really want to accomplish then you are more likely to follow through and be successful.

Make Your Goal Measurable:

Setting a goal that you can monitor and track is really important in order to keep you motivated and seeing the finish line. If your goal is too general then you are more likely to not stay focused. You can log your progress in a journal or there are several apps that can help with goal setting. Again, this can help you see your accomplishments along the way and increase your success.

Start Small:

Make a goal that is realistic and something reasonable that you can accomplish. If our goal is too big or we do not see ourselves making progress then we are more likely to give up. It is much better to set a small goal that have you accomplish and need to set the bar higher rather than a goal that is too large you end up giving up. 

Share Your Goal:

Tell others about your goal and let people know what you need in order to accomplish this goal. This keeps you accountable and others may provide support and reinforcement to you as you work toward your goal.

Give Yourself Positive Reinforcement:

It’s important to reinforce and reward yourself for achieving progress. Rewarding yourself with give you that boost of confidence and reinforcement that you need in order to continue working toward your goal or healthy habit.

Now you have some tips to help you to accomplish your New Years resolution, good luck, and know that you can do it!

Happy New Year!

Blog written by: Dr. Shelley Sommerfeldt, Clinical Psychologist, Relationship Coach & Founder of the Loving Roots Project, an online wellness practice specializing in personal growth, mental wellness, & relationship betterment.

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