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New Year’s Resolutions: Following Through

Every year most people make New Year’s resolutions and many do not reach their goals. It is not for a lack of determination or will power but rather that they did not make their goals attainable. So I have found the most common resolutions, which unfortunately are the ones that most people do not succeed at. Hopefully I can provide some tips to help you reach the most common goals of the New Year.

First, there are some general guidelines about setting goals, like make it easy. Tackle your toughest goals by setting smaller simpler ones. Work at your own pace and don’t set strict deadlines.

  1. Quit Smoking- This is never easy and all too often people try to go cold turkey and it is incredibly difficult. However, those that ease themselves away from smoking tend to have more luck. This is where keeping it easy/simple really helps. The most effective thing I’ve seen done is first tracking how many you smoke a day and then smoking one a day for one week. So if you smoke 10 a day you drop it to 9 for the next week and so on. Once you hit one a day you switch to one every other day and then quit completely. It’s not as fast as going cold turkey but it will keep you from being miserable and still accomplish your goal. I’ve also noticed that people who quit the hard way are more likely to give in to temptation.
  2. Lose Weight- Now this one is relatively common and is not very specific. IF your goal is to lose weight then it would be best to define how. Without a method to execute your plan to meet your weight loss goal you don’t even know where to start. Another big problem is that people often put a number on this like 20 lbs but obsessing over the number on the scale will just stress you out, which could cause weight gain.
  3. Go to the Gym- This is completely unrealistic if you don’t have a set time to go or something fun to do while you’re there. If you don’t enjoy anything about going to the gym then you won’t go past the end of January or February. However, find someone to go with you so you have good company and try picking out something fun, like tennis or kick boxing. My husband and I were avid rock climbers for over a year; we even competed. We had tons of fun and were in great shape. We also made it a necessary part of our routine and made friends with the other climbers. Having that routine and friends made it feel less like a chore and more like a hobby.
  4. Go on a Diet- There are a ton of things that could be said about this one. What kind of diet? For the rest of your life? Just for the year?  What about exercise? There is nothing wrong with going on a diet but do not try to change your entire lifestyle in one day. There is a reason why you like the foods that you do and you will crave them. The best thing is if you can avoid those cravings. Start by cutting back on something unhealthy, like soda or fast food and eventually eliminate it completely.

Hopefully these tips and warnings help you accomplish your New Year’s resolution and if you’ve already tried and failed, it’s still only January. For those of you looking to get healthier and cut back on the junk food remember Grandma Maud’s Bean Meals have zero fat, are low in sodium and high in protein.

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