How to Set Realistic New Year’s Resolutions
By Denise Austin
So, how are your New Year’s Resolutions going? Perhaps you’ve made (and broken) them in the past. Here’s a few ways to set some clearly defined goals – along with setting yourself up for success.
The Resolution Conundrum
According to the Statistic Brain Research Institute, about 50% of all Americans make New Year’s resolutions – but only 8% keep them.1 Whether you’re seeking to lose weight, start and keep a new creative pursuit, or become a better person in some other way, resolutions are worth making and certainly worth some effort to follow through.
That can prove difficult, though. So many of us want to do things better or differently in 2023 – but how to achieve that? Therein lies the problem.
Setting Realistic Goals
In the name of not only setting out your goals but achieving them, here are a few tips:
Don’t just say you’re going to lose weight – set an intention to lose 10 pounds. Don’t vow to write The Great American Novel – decide to get down 500 words daily. Break down your goals and clearly define them.
Keep Track of Your Progress
Whatever method works best for you, measure your achievements so you can see in black and white that you’re getting somewhere.
If you want to run five miles per week, put that intention on the calendar. Your goals are just as important as any other commitment.
Don’t Think in Black and White
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Resolutions are not an all-or-nothing thing. If you slip up one day, it’s not the end of the world – just get back to it the next day. Simple as that.
You may feel like giving up. Don’t make excuses for yourself. Don’t let yourself off the hook. Keep moving forward toward your goal despite slipups or temporary setbacks. You will get there.
Rome wasn’t built in a day, right? Neither are your achievements. See each step forward as a win, and the steps backward as temporary setbacks. Ultimately that’s how you’re going to get ahead.
The Bottom Line
New Year’s resolutions are a long-term game. You’re in this for the marathon, not the sprint. That’s why it pays to be patient, stay resilient, track your progress, and define your goals rather than treating it like a zero-sum endeavor. Good luck and Happy New Year!
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Denise Austin is a best-selling author and creator of Fit Over 50 magazine. A 40-year wellness ambassador, Austin has sold more than 24 million exercise videos and DVDs and a champion for people who aspire to live their best life, regardless of their age or current health conditions.
1 “A Psychologist’s Secrets to Making New Year’s Resolutions Stick,” Forbes, “A Psychologist’s Secrets to Making New Year’s Resolutions Stick.” (accessed 12/1/22)
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Best-Selling Author, Creator of Fit Over 50 Magazine
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