Getting Good Results with Your New Year's Resolutions

res•o•lu•tion: a fresh start; better things; hope.

If you wish to up the odds of keeping your resolutions this coming year and attaining that fresh, better, more hopeful future, try these tips for success:

  • Resolve to do one thing vs. a few. A singular focus offers clarity and the opportunity to put all your energy and resources toward achieving "it."
  • Make sure it's YOU who's made the goal. It shouldn't be your doctor, your family, your colleagues or someone else. You need to own your goal and want it more than anyone.
  • Check to see that you made your resolution for reasons that are important to you.This makes your resolution very personal, strengthening willpower and motivation.
  • Make the resolution SMART: Specific, Measurable, Action-oriented (in a positive way... i.e. "I will do this" vs. "I won't do that"), Realistic and with Time-based benchmarks. "Eating better," "not snacking," "exercising more" and "losing weight" don't cut it as good resolutions, but "eating fruit at each meal" or "walking 15 minutes before every lunch" are. Good resolutions have specific implementation intentions and strategies.
  • Anticipate and navigate the wave of emotions. Everything is sunny-side up when new resolutions start, but eventually hurdles are tossed your way – it's -20° and you don't want to walk outside or there's a party and you'd like to take it all in. Plan on lousy days and figure out how you will move through them successfully, both physically and emotionally. Focus on finding new behaviors and a new mindset. Remember, you're changing ingrained habits.
  • Attitude is everything. Studies find that what you believe shapes what you'll achieve. People who believe willpower is infinite are much more successful in achieving goals than people who think there's only so much available. Focus on what you can do, not what youíre up against. Be relentlessly mindful. Celebrate your successes along the way – it will nurture more of them.

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