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Use Positive Thinking to Be Successful With This Years Resolutions

new year's resolutions

Did you set New Year’s Resolutions for yourself this year? Here is how to make them stick.


Each year, about 45% of Americans make New Year’s Resolutions, but only 8% have success in achieving their goals. We have such good intentions, so why can’t we seem to follow through?
Don’t be so hard on yourself – most of the time, the failure comes from setting unrealistic goals or from incomplete planning to reach those goals. For example, starting off the New Year saying you are “never” going to touch another carb or that you are going to “always” exercise seven days a week.

We are imperfect humans – and we need to allow for life to get in the way sometimes, but to find solutions and ways to overcome obstacles. That comes from taking a positive approach to resolution making – and some really good planning.

Start by identifying one real goal for the next 365 days instead of a long list. Focusing on one thing at a time will make you more likely to be successful. We all have a thousand things we would like to change about ourselves, but taking on too much at once will lead to burnout.

Make the goal specific, but realistic (avoid those extreme goals such as losing 30# in 30 days) and write it down somewhere so you will see it regularly and remind you day in and day out of what you are striving for. Write the goal in a positive light – negative, shaming goals are not likely to stick.

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For example, say you are overweight and want to lose a few pounds. Start by setting a goal to lose 5-10%. If you weigh 200#, your first goal should be to lose somewhere between 10 to 20 pounds. While this may not be your ultimate weight goal, it is a perfect starting point, and very achievable with small changes.

Next, state what you WILL do to reach that goal of weight loss. Instead of depriving yourself of all of your favorite foods (a sure fire way to fail), state that you will INCREASE your intake of healthy foods such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Again, take one goal at a time – this week, strive for five servings per day of fruits and vegetables. You will likely, over time, find your cravings for “junk” diminishing without even trying or feeling like you are being overly restrictive.

Most of us tend to think of exercise in a negative light, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Just increase activity daily doing something that you like, instead of struggling through a workout that you hate (you won’t stick with it.) Take a 15 minute walk in the fresh air. Go dancing. Every little bit will make you feel energized, and you are likely to do more.

Be sure to plan for roadblocks and detours – an office party where the food is a focus or a hectic schedule where you are unable to get in your daily exercise. One day off is not a failure – it is just life. Take the positive aspects of the day and be grateful for them.

Finally, recognize that any positive effort toward a goal is success. You are doing this for the good of your health. Even if the scale needle doesn’t budge, your body most certainly is responding on the inside. And remember that every day is a new day – every day you have a new opportunity to make healthy choices.

Photo Credit:
By Tony Hisgett from Birmingham, UK via Wikimedia Commons