In Tips

We’ve all been there. It’s only a week into the New Year, and you’ve already given up on your resolution to lose weight, exercise, spend less, or get organized. The good news is that this year can be different, with the help of these simple but effective tips:

Be Specific: Vague goals such as “getting fit” make it all too easy to avoid getting started. Setting specific goals such as “walking 30 minutes on the treadmill, three times a week” immediately puts a plan into action.

Be Realistic: Setting unrealistic goals is a recipe for failure (e.g., “I will never eat dessert again”). Be realistic with yourself about what you think you can accomplish (e.g., “I will limit dessert to 100 calories per day”).

Keep A Journal: Logging your daily progress is an excellent way to hold yourself accountable to your goals and to reinforce your successes. It can also make you aware of factors that may be impeding your progress (e.g., self defeating thoughts).

Tell Others: Informing others about your goals is another effective way of increasing accountability. Consider having your significant other, sibling, or friend check in with you on a regular basis to ask you about your progress.

Accept Imperfection: There will be days when you are unable to meet your goals. Accept this. The worst thing you can do is to beat up on yourself, and end up feeling so discouraged that you give up on your goals all together. Remember that tomorrow is a new day, and a new opportunity to get back on track.

Reward Yourself: Plan for short- and long-term rewards in order to create an incentive for success (e.g., a gold star on your calendar for each day that you exercise; treating yourself to a movie for meeting weekly weight loss goals).

Stick With It: Studies have shown that it takes at least 3 weeks to establish a new habit. So be patient with yourself and keep re-committing to your goals when you get off track. With time, the new habits will stick.

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