New Year’s Resolutions

With the New Year here now, many of us have a new chance to make a better version of ourselves. Resolutions like kicking bad habits such as drinking soda or eating take-out on a daily basis are common goals. Or maybe you are determined to finish one of the books that continue to collect dust on your shelf.  Whatever your resolution may be, have you set yourself up for success or are you doomed from the beginning? With life in constant motion, here are a few things that will help you achieve and maintain your goals.

Celebrate the little successes

Many times, we look at the resolution as an end goal instead of a series of small victories. Celebrating the little successes allows you to enjoy the journey and relish in the fact that you are one step closer to reaching your resolution. Thinking of it as a journey allows you to make mistakes, knowing that you can keep moving forward even after falling down.

Example: David is trying to cut soda out of his diet. He has been good all week but a craving hits him so hard that he caves in and buys an ice-cold Coke from the convenience store. As David is enjoying his Coke, the craving soon turns to guilt and shame. Feeling defeated, David starts thinking that it’s impossible to quit so he just gives up on the resolution altogether, completely forgetting how amazing he did all week. This is why it is important to celebrate the little successes. Celebrating each victory during the journey will help motivate you to continue on, even if you slip up.

Share your resolutions with your loved ones

Sharing your resolutions with loved ones helps build support and accountability. Improving your life requires tough decisions so having support to get you through the rough days is essential. Support can come in many forms. Maybe it’s checking in on you throughout the week; it could be picking you up when you slip and fall or; maybe it is just holding you accountable for your actions to ensure you are on the right track to achieving your resolution.

Don’t set yourself up for failure

Too often, we set too high of expectations for ourselves when it comes to resolutions. We make resolutions that are so unrealistic that we are bound to fail. Sometimes the best resolutions are small lifestyle changes.

Example: Marie wants to get healthier when it comes to the food she eats and decides to go 100% plant-based. She’s doing great for the whole month of January until she comes down with the flu. Feeling crummy with congestion and a really sore throat, all Marie wants is a big bowl of hot chicken noodle soup with crackers like her mom used to make. She caves in and makes herself some of that warm, comforting soup with total disregard to her new lifestyle of eating healthier. Once she starts feeling better, Marie completely returned back to those old eating habits thinking that she will just try again next year. Maybe next time, Marie will decide to start with a smaller goal such as eating less processed foods.

New Year’s resolutions are a great way to kick-start the year and hopefully with these tips, you will be a little bit closer to hitting your goal. Good luck and remember to enjoy the journey!

Kenny Hanten is a Student Outreach Coordinator for the Student Outreach team at Aureus Medical Group.

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