Strategies to keep your New Year’s resolutions on track

Will you be one of the 41 percent who makes a New Year’s resolution? Learn how you can be successful in accomplishing your goal.

According to stasticbrain.com, 41 percent of Americans typically make New Year’s resolutions and surprisingly, just over 44 percent of those resolutions make it past the first six months. Will you be part of the group who makes a resolution?

Resolutions take all different shapes and sizes but we do know that making your resolutions realistic and obtainable can go a long way to making you part of the 44 percent who still have them going well into the spring and summer. Here are some practical strategies from Michigan State University Extension that will help you find success:

  • Be honest and realistic. If you want to be spend more time with your family, eat healthier meals, exercise more or have a clean desk at work, you are going to have to be actively involved in making that happen. Are you willing to make the time and dedicate the energy? If so, write it down and commit to it.
  • Small steps lead to big changes. Your resolution may be a big goal; break it down into smaller pieces so you can see your success over time. If it takes a while to get to your goal, you can easily become discouraged and quit. Seeing success along the way can make the journey enjoyable and keep you motivated.
  • Schedule it. Planning is one key to success. When and where will you need to be to get the goal accomplished? At your desk, the gym, with your family, in the kitchen or at the grocery store? Don’t count on things to just magically happen! If you are making a resolution that includes others scheduling is even more important. You can use reminders on your favorite app, calendar, text a workout buddy or just go with the sticky note to keep yourself on track.
  • Consider your needs for the resolution and get prepared. This is not about spending a lot of money, having an elaborate set of exercise equipment or a gourmet kitchen. Take stock of the items you really need to get started, and what equipment you already own that you just need to dig out of storage. Gather up you supplies and start with what you have. This will allow you to get going so you can see if your resolution will even make it past the first month – only 58 percent of them do!   

Resolutions are a great way for us to inspire ourselves and those around us. It is important to remember that they can be revised, adapted to fit new circumstances, or changed and that does not mean we were not successful. Revising a resolution is just that: a revision to a plan. Plans change, life happens and you grow from each of these experiences. So set the example, lead the pack and live up to your resolutions this year, even if they get a revision or two.  


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