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Making Resolutions Last

January 4th, 2024 by Janet Chen

At the end of every year the ball drops on New Years Eve! People love to celebrate.  They throw parties and start setting their goals and resolutions for the new year.

According to the 2019 American Psychological Association (APA) article, “The Secret Behind Making Your New Year’s Resolutions Last” it can be overwhelming when we start making resolutions for the upcoming year. It can cause stress and anxiety if you don’t make progress toward goals that you set by the time you hit March or April. You may not use your gym membership as often as you would like.  You may try to learn a new skill and get busy or frustrated and end up quitting.

It’s easy to put a lot of pressure on ourselves. Instead we should be reflecting and thinking about what life changes we would like to make.

“Setting small, attainable goals throughout the year, instead of a singular, overwhelming goal on January 1 can help you reach whatever it is you strive for,” says psychologist Lynn Bufka, PhD.

Take it one step and one day at a time.  Make your resolutions reasonable. You are more likely to keep them that way.  Here are some tips that can be helpful as you think about your resolutions

-Start Small

Start by making small changes. If you get a gym membership and want to lose weight, start with going to the gym a couple days a week.  You can always go more often, but you don’t want to burn yourself out right at the beginning. If you want to diet, start by taking out chips and sugar and replace them with healthy snacks such as cottage cheese, fruit, or a protein shake.

-Don’t Beat Yourself Up

You are not going to be perfect every day! That’s not possible. Instead strive for positive movement or momentum. Just because you didn’t feel like going to the gym doesn’t mean you failed. Maybe you were just tired and needed a break. If you are trying to lose weight and decide to eat a dessert don’t quit! There are going to be ups and downs. Take a moment to pause, reset and then try again.

For more information, please see the APA article.

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