Your New Year’s Resolutions Should Include Realistic Goals

New Year's ResolutionsThe new year provides an innate drive to improve ourselves, to make a new start. We review the past year and that provides us with a list of resolutions for the next one.

  • You look at yourself in the mirror after having consumed 325 holiday cookies and see a faint resemblance to Shamu.
  • You wake up with a “super cell” hangover and vaguely remember being pulled over by an Austin police officer.
  • You just couldn’t pass up the incredible deals from “Needless Mark-up” this season. It dawns on you that, mathematically, your daughter would need to fail all four years of high school to be able to ever wear those beautiful prom dresses you so lovingly purchased for her.
  • You threaten a fellow driver with a “Justin Bieber” musical marathon, while utilizing hostile sign language, for going too slow in the left lane.


After New Year’s Day, we become more aware of our bad habits, addictions or poor treatment of others, and vow to be a better person in the next year. We’re quite sincere and motivated when we take our vows and write down our resolutions.

In the “Honeymoon ” stage (January 1st-3rd), we marvel at our newly discovered inner strength to eat a big salad, abstain from alcohol, and return purchases made in haste. We’re astonished at how easy it is to be a courteous and pleasant driver.

The “Stressors R Us” (January 4th-10th) stage gives us new insight into what it’s like to deal with life without our usual coping mechanisms. We realize that changing ourselves is a little more difficult to achieve than we counted on.

When we arrive at the “Wasted away in Denial-ville” stage (January 10th-ad nauseam), we decide that resolutions are stupid. After all, we’re just fine the way we are. If we eat, drink, spend a little more and honestly express our feelings, we can’t help it—we’re only human.

How to dress your resolutions for success:

  1. Make realistic goals and ways to reach them. Coping mechanisms are deeply entrenched and it takes a series of small goals to slowly dig out of our trenches.
  2. Change takes dedication and mule-like persistence. If we give up when things become too hard and/or painful for us, we cannot change.
  3. It is a sign of strength to ask for help from others, not a weakness.
  4. Let others know what you’re working on for support and encouragement. This is also a way to make it more difficult for “resolution renege” to creep in.
  5.  Focus on how even small changes can enhance your life.
  6. Setbacks are natural and to be expected.
  7. Give yourself credit for what you achieve; beating yourself up just hurts.
  8. Your resolutions start in January but can go beyond it to lead to healthy, lasting lifestyle changes.


Happy New Year !

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