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How to make your New Year’s Resolutions

As the New Year rolls in many of us are contemplating making New Year’s resolutions.  40% of Americans last year planned on making resolutions and they were the same resolutions that have been made for years… quitting smoking, losing weight, stop drinking and getting finances under control, you know, the same old things we always want to do… but usually fail at.

Scranton University psychology professor John Norcross is offering ways to follow through on your New Year’s resolutions and hopefully keep those goals that you set.

Remember, it’s a marathon, not a sprint!

  • Make changes to your behavior. Varying your routine will get you different results. It is important to modify your behavior to achieve a different outcome.  Trying the same thing over and over again and expecting a different outcome makes no sense!
  • Define SMART goals. When setting goals, use the SMART acronym: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-specific. According to Norcross, individuals must go further than simply saying, “I want to lose weight.” “Specifically, what are you going to do so that you can measure and track [your weight] over time, for say, the next three to four months?” he said.
  • Track your progress. Self-monitoring is what Norcross calls this technique. A calendar, or a calendar app, is a handy tool you can use to track your goals. “It also can show you what the triggers of your behavior are and it can alert you to any early slips,” said Norcross.
  • Reward small achievements. It is important to reward yourself when you reach a milestone of your goal. For example, if you lose 15 of those 35 pounds you want to lose, do something for yourself… not food!  Norcross says you should recognize the accomplishment and perhaps do something nice for yourself. Doing this will help keep you motivated about your overall goal.
  • Make it public. Norcross suggests that if you announce your goals on social media you will be held accountable by those closest to you. The downside of course is that “It potentially increases embarrassment if they fail,” he said. So, really give announcing your goals to the world if you think you won’t be able to handle the consequences of failure… not that you will fail… I’m just saying.

Think about last year

Jennifer E. Jones is the Inspiration Editor for beliefnet.com says that “Reflecting on the mistakes and mishaps of last year is a good place to start when making New Year’s resolutions. Where could you have done better? What do you want to see change? No need to be down on yourself. Just take a look at your weak points and see what you can do about them this year.”

No matter what your New Year’s resolutions are, it is important to write them down.  Writing them down and placing the list in a conspicuous place in your home such as on the fridge, will insure that you have a constant reminder of what your goals are.

You Can Do It!

Be sure to track your progress by marking off a completed goal or a goal that you have stuck with for a specified amount of time.

Learn from your past mistake and concentrate of achieving your new, New Year resolutions… you can do it!

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