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Alternate Perceptions Magazine, January 2023

How To Keep Your New Year’s Resolutions

by: Stan Prachniak, MBA

Why is it so difficult for people to keep New Year’s resolutions? It’s definitely not for lack of trying. Most, if not all, people who make resolutions start out with the best intentions of keeping them. So, why do most people fall short of attaining the goal they have set for themselves during the year? There are many reasons, but I’d like to focus on one that is key to the success of any attempt to make a meaningful change—setting goals.

Each year a vast number of people vow to make a change in their life in January. It probably makes sense, and as the marketing teams everywhere remind us, it’s time for a “new year, new you!” One of the most common resolutions each year is to lose weight or to “get in shape.” Fitness centers everywhere see a dramatic spike in memberships in January and their parking lots are full. But this is not the case all year long. Why? Mainly because we tend to set non-specific goals for ourselves—they are too vague. Here are some of the most common New Year’s resolutions:

• Lose weight
• Get in shape
• Eat better
• Quit smoking
• Quit drinking

Again, all of these goals are noble and are examples of us wanting to be a better version of who we are (or how we see ourselves) right now. The common issue with each of the goals is that they are all missing the “how?” In order to achieve our goals, we have to know how we will do it. Setting a goal without having a detailed plan to succeed is like trying to cook a meal without having the recipe or ingredients.

Let’s stick with the example of losing weight because it is the most common resolution each year. Answering the “how?” will give you a road map to success. And, it’s typically a series of “hows” that create the best path. Here are some examples of what you might need to answer before beginning your journey to weight loss:

• How much weight do I want to lose?
• How many days will I exercise each week?
• How will I change my diet?

The answers to these questions will likely lead to many other more specific questions which will ultimately create a “recipe” for your success. This series of questions and answers will assist you in making a set of “SMART” goals. Goals that are:

• Specific
• Measurable
• Attainable
• Realistic
• Time-based

Freedom To Change offers a way for you to create a plan and become the best version of yourself that you can be. For more information on the Freedom To Change materials, visit www.freedom2change.org.

Saturday, April 20, 2024