New Years Resolutions?

By Elizabeth Jarrard MS, RD

Oh January 1st—the day when everyone swears to lose 5 lbs by January 5th, when gyms across the nation become suddenly jam-packed, and your best friend is swearing off chocolate. When was the last time you saw these New Years Resolutions followed through to September? Perhaps it’s because most of us do not plan well enough, and fail to set good goals. So this year, let’s shift our talk from resolution-making to goal-setting!

To make positive change this year, create small achievable goals that focus on the positive.

  • Brainstorm. What do you want? And Why? Clearly defining these two things will give you a strong start to causing change.
  • Start with a simple plan. Make it specific, and achievable. How can you realistically get from point a to point b?
  • Accentuate the positive: Avoid “I will not.” Instead use “I am”. Replace “I should”, with “I will.” Example: Instead of “I will not eat chocolate” try “I will make sure to eat 5 fruits and vegetables a day.” “Instead of “I should work out everyday” use “I will be active to stay healthy and happy, and give my body the rest it deserves.”
  • Make it visible for accountability. Share it with your best friend, your mom, on Facebook, on Twitter, or on your blog. Letting others know will help you stick to your goal.
  • Take steps. Goals aren’t all or nothing philosophies. Make small, gradual steps to reach your goal.  Remember that slipping on rigid goals isn’t always a bad thing, and should be considered an opportunity to grow and learn. It is important to revaluate your goals throughout the year to see what may be preventing you from reaching them, and whether they are still helping you create the life you desire.
  • Stay Focused– Reflect and evaluate how your progress has gone. Goals can always shift. Acknowledge what you are doing well! This will foster hope and motivation to continue doing great!

At the start of the new year I like to create a Vision Board. I bring together a lot of images and words that inspire me, and create a board that outlines some of the goals I would like to accomplish in the new year

My vision board

If you don’t want to commit to an entire board, write an affirmation card. Write something you would like to change in the New year, and keep it somewhere where you can look at it and be reminded for the reasons to change.

Everyone likes instant gratification, but success takes work, and planning, and long term goals make that possible.

“Remember: You have the power within you to create the life you love. Be gentle with yourself. You are worth every desire.”
-Lori Shemek

What are your goals for 2013? Do you use January 1st to reflect and set goals?

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