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Tips on how to set a resolution and actually achieve them

Admit it. At some point in your life, you’ve made a New Year’s resolution to either eat healthier, exercise more, or maybe even quit smoking. You wouldn’t be alone.

A vast majority of people prioritize their health when the new year rolls around. Unfortunately, a whopping 80% of people fall short of their goals, usually by February.

“New Year’s resolutions like to do something for lasting a whole year on a dime is hard," said Relevé Counseling therapist, Alex Gonzalez.

Take quitting smoking for example. Many try to go cold turkey. But, experts say that strategy has a less than 5% chance of success. To increase those odds, Alex suggests a more methodical approach.

“If you go from using five packs a month to, 'I’m going to use four-and-a-half packs the first month and then I’ll gradually decrease my use,' [that is much more effective].”

Everything about society is built for speed, such as same day shipping or wi-fi. It’s important to remember that most New Year’s resolutions involve changes to one’s lifestyle and won’t happen overnight. Set smaller, achievable goals throughout the year. This will be more realistic and keep you motivated.

“The biggest thing is that you make the effort. You try and that can be a launching point for trying again later.”

Here’s a few more tips to help you followthrough on your New Year’s resolution for 2024:

  • Get ready mentally: in the same way athletes may pump themselves up for a big game, you need to do so as well before undertaking the task of uprooting ingrained habits.

  • Stay positive and allow yourself some wiggle room: people tend to focus on the negatives. Don’t fall into that trap!

  • Tell others about your resolution: help keep yourself accountable by letting others know what you’re planning to do.

  • Write down your resolution: it can be easy to forget about a resolution. Writing it down and placing it somewhere you always see it, such as a mirror or your phone, will remind you that keeping a resolution requires you to actively do it.

  • Review your progress: check in with yourself weekly or monthly. Take note of how much progress you’ve made toward your goal. You can adjust your behavior accordingly.

  • Disrupt disruption: setbacks are part of life. Perhaps you put on weight instead of losing it. This is likely going to happen! Focus on getting back on track with your resolution, instead of how you’re falling short of it. Every setback can be a learning opportunity. It doesn’t matter if you fall off the horse. Just make sure to get back on!

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