The keys to actually keeping your New Year’s resolutions this year

With the holidays behind us and a New Year ahead, many people do their best to try to start things off on the right foot with a new batch of New Year’s resolutions.  While usually good intentioned, the unfortunate truth is that most resolutions don’t hold up, and only about 8-12% of people actually keep true to their pledges over the year.

Among the many problems that lead to these failures, most commonly, people set their goals too high or make them overly general.  Without a specific plan or a means to accomplish these goals, they can’t be attained and resolutions slowly fall by the wayside for yet another year.

If you’re serious about making changes in 2014 that are both attainable and lasting, don’t be part of the 90% who fails at their resolutions.  Follow these tips and make this the year you actually keep true to your word:

  • Spend some time thinking about the things that are most important to change or improve in your life before making decisions on actual resolutions
  • When you choose resolutions, be sure they are reasonable and attainable;  Some prefer a few large goals, others many small ones, but most importantly, make sure they’re feasible for you
  • Make specific goals, not general ones; instead of saying you want to “lose weight” or “eat healthier,” shoot for something like losing 10 pounds over the next four months or eating leafy green vegetables 5 times a week
  • Create a detailed list with your resolutions and a timeframe of when you’d like to accomplish them by; keep track of your progress and take notes on where you’re excelling and where you’re falling behind
  • If it seems like a goal you initially set is becoming difficult, don’t abandon it but adjust it to make it easier to accomplish
  • Tell your friends and family about your resolutions, and possibly team up with your friend or partner on some joint resolutions
  • Consider starting your resolutions at a later date; New Year’s falls smack in the middle of winter, when it’s toughest to get outside and do the things you want, so try pushing it back a few months and starting your resolutions when you’re ready to commit to them

Perhaps most important of all, don’t get discouraged if you don’t succeed at first.  Making lasting changes takes time and effort, and giving up when things don’t work out right away will never lead to improvement.  Hang in there and be patient with yourself as you adapt to new changes in your life.

CPTA has a personal trainer on staff if you’d like assistance with an exercise regimen to help get you on track, or if you’re experiencing any lingering aches or pains, visit us at Cleveland Physical Therapy Associates, and we can help get you moving towards a more mobile future.