Understanding Anger – It’s Okay for Your Child to be Mad at You.
12/21/2014
A book review: “Will I Ever be Good Enough? Healing the Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers” by Karyl McBride, Ph.D.
01/12/2015

New Year, New You: Making Realistic Resolutions

resolutions

New Years Eve is approaching in a few days and many people are asking the same question: What’s my New Years resolution? There are some that are common to many individuals, such as, “Getting into shape,” “Eating healthier,” and “Spend more time with friends and family.” However, something I see often are individuals that make resolutions that may not be realistic for their lifestyle. Here are some tips when thinking about what changes you would like to make in 2015:

  1. Your resolutions must be realistic!

I’m kicking off this list with the #1 rule: If you want to feel confident with your goals, make them reachable. If you set yourself up with a goal in which you are not successful it may hit your self-esteem or confidence. Some people report that this keeps them from setting up new goals. You want to set up goals that you know you can reach, and then once that happens you can make new goals. There are no rules for resolutions, so keep going! You aren’t stuck with making only one goal- make them throughout the year!

 

  1. If you want to lose weight, make your goal something you know you can realistically reach.

Most individuals who have a goal of losing weight have a magic number in their head. That number is the total amount of pounds they wish to lose. I work with this a lot in my profession and all too often an individual may say something like, “I want to lose 20 pounds in the next two months!”

For some people weight loss can be easy, for most it can be challenging. Start slow, and don’t give yourself a deadline! Your first goal: Lose 5 pounds. Work out, eat better, be active in general, reduce stress and overall take care of yourself. You’ll be surprised how fast that 5-pound goal can be reached. Once you see that, then tell yourself you want to lose another 5. Keep going from there. If you say you want to lose 20 pounds by February and this goal is not met, you will bring yourself down, blame yourself (and possibly others) and be upset for not reaching your goal. If you keep your confidence with your resolutions you’ll be more motivated to complete them!

 

  1. Deciding to quit your job/change careers? Make a timeline.

If you are thinking of quitting your job or overall changing your career, this can be a multiple step process and a timeline can benefit this goal. If you give yourself dates for when you will do things such as, update your resume, type a cover letter, research companies to apply to, etc., you’ll be more motivated to do these things if you have a goal date in mind. Also, a career change may mean going back to school, getting certified in specific areas of study, etc., so a timeline may also help you decide when to begin these ventures.

 

  1. Why not start now?

Many of us get stuck in the assumption that a New Years resolution has to start on January 1st. Why not start the day you decide to make changes to your lifestyle? We actually have a tendency to not meet our goals if we make these excuses, “I’ll start my diet Monday, until then I’ll keep eating what I want!” It makes us motivated that day, but usually once Monday comes around we’ll make other excuses, “It’s Mr. Jones’ birthday at work and we’re going to have cake, so I’ll start next Monday!”

 

Just start now.

 

  1. Joining a gym can be daunting with all of their offers/services. Sign up for the one that fits your needs.

Need a personal trainer? Make sure the gym you are signing up for offers them. Many fitness centers out there with lower prices offer the essentials, but no more than that. If you only need the workout machines then don’t spend more money on gyms that offer way more than you need. If you want workout classes, personal trainers, clubs, etc., and it is in your financial means then you may want to look into these fitness centers. You’ll be extra motivated to get your gear in shape if you know what kind of work out regimens you want to do.

If it not in your financial means, or you don’t want to join a specific gym, remember you can work out just as much at home. Run outside, watch workout videos, get some personal equipment such as weights and medicine balls and you can get a good workout in your living room!

 

  1. If your resolution is to spend more time with friends/family, make it a point to tell them.

We’re more motivated to stick to a goal if we tell others around us what we’re planning. If your goal is to contact your friends/family more this year, tell them! It doesn’t hurt to say, “Hey Aunt Jodi, I know I can be hard to get a hold of but I’m going to work harder to communicate better with the family.” Once done you will know that you can be held accountable for not doing it.

 

  1. Your resolution should be within your financial means.

If your goals are expensive, start saving now. Splurging on yourself can be realistic with a budget, but if you tell yourself you are going to go to Europe in June, but in May you have not saved enough money, this can deter you from meeting this resolution. Make a budget for your resolutions; If they include joining a fitness center, getting a personal trainer, eating healthier, traveling more and getting a new car, I encourage you to make a budget for EACH of these goals so you know how realistic they are for you. Once you put it on paper, you can see if you need to skim back on some things. Maybe you can afford everything so far except that new car.

This also helps you sort out your priorities with resolutions. If replacing your old car is detrimental then you may want to cut some of the budget for joining a gym and traveling. You can do it all, but prioritize!

 

  1. The long term goal isn’t to finish what you started, but to keep going!

Making a resolution is not about meeting a goal and then stopping altogether, it’s about lifestyle changes. If you want to lose weight and meet your goal, then you should have a newer, healthier, lifestyle you want to keep up. If you stop it once you meet your goal you’ll be seeing yourself making the same resolution next year.

You have the ability to meet your goals, just make sure they are realistic to your needs, and that you prioritize appropriately.

 

I have worked hard to meet my goals in life, and my resolution is to keep up the lifestyle I have set up for myself. I will continue to workout regularly and be generally active with my lifestyle, I will spend time with my friends and family, I will have good work ethics, and I will enjoy new opportunities that come my way.

 

And now that I told you, feel free to hold me accountable if I do not do these things! 🙂