According to US News & World Report, 60% of people make New Year’s resolutions and 80% of them fail by February.
While dieting and exercising Top the annual list of changes people intend to make during the New Year, these goals fall by the wayside in short time.
According to the American Psychological Association, 1 of the Key reasons resolutions fail is that they are not realistic.
“Don’t make items on your bucket list into resolutions,” Dr. Judy Kuriansky, a world-renowned clinical therapist and author of “The Complete Idiots Guide to a Healthy Relationship,” tells HeffX-LTN Health. “You may want to run a marathon, but that’s a huge undertaking if you haven’t exercised before and totally unrealistic. Break it down into smaller, more attainable goals.”
Dr. Kuriansky, an award-winning journalist who is the main representative for the International Association of Applied Psychology at the United Nations, knows firsthand about the art of goal-setting. Her achievements, including a treacherous climb up Mount Kilimanjaro during which 1 member of her party died, are legendary.
Below are some of her tips about how you can make those resolutions stick this year, as follows:
- Chart a path. You may want to lose weight but with so many diets out there, you may become confused and overwhelmed at how to proceed. “Check out which plan seems to work best for you or discuss your goals with a dietitian who can help steer you along,” says Dr. Kuriansky.
- Buddy Up. It is easier to stay on track when you are accountable to a friend or spouse. Joining a gym is a good place to start your exercise program, but having someone to work out with you makes it more enjoyable and helps cement your commitment. You may want to seek out a support group if 1 of your resolutions is to stop smoking.
- Write it down. Dr. Kuriansky keeps a list of her resolutions on her desk so she is reminded of them when she works. You may even want to discuss your resolutions with your family so that they know your intentions and avoid temptations into the home.
- Do not beat yourself up. Perfection is unattainable, the American Psychological Association points out. As Frank Sinatra once said, “Take a deep breath, pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and start all over again.” Everyone has ups and downs, resolve to recover from your mistakes, and get back on track.
- Take your time. Changing an unhealthy behavior to a healthier 1 takes time and effort. “One of the Key principles in psychology is repetition. The more you repeat things, the more likely you are to get it,” says Dr. Kuriansky. “You may have made the same resolution last year and gave up, but this may be the year it actually sticks and works for you. Sometimes that light switch goes on and you can see your path more clearly,” she says.
Eat healthy, Be healthy, Live lively