Motivation Articles

Keep the New Year Momentum Going

Resolution Solutions

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Emerson once said that "consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds." But when it comes to New Year's resolutions, 100% success usually isn't a source of fear or dread.

In fact, with resolutions, most of us think consistency is everything-- which is why it’s so easy to fade by February once we find ourselves slipping even slightly. When we eat too much, miss our target weight loss, or don’t get to the gym for a few days, we conveniently give up-- taking an all-or-nothing stand so that when we don’t achieve all, we have a built-in excuse to settle for nothing.

What, then, can we do when we find our resolutions fizzling?

First of all, review your goals to make sure they’re really yours. While this may sound silly, we live in a world of "shoulds," under constant pressure to follow agendas that don’t have real value for us. Are you trying to lose a few pounds because your spouse thinks you should? Do you play softball on the church team because you got dragged into a position someone else vacated? If so, you may want to rethink your priorities. You’re far more likely to commit to-- and accomplish—goals that are truly important and meaningful to you.

Second, run a reality check on your goals. So often, experts say, the biggest problem in keeping resolutions lies with making them. Caught up in the enthusiasm of a fresh start, we throw ourselves with wild abandon at a vast list of unattainable goals, then wonder why we revert to our old ways. Were you suffering from delusions of grandeur when you pledged to run 40 miles a week? Was it feasible—or even healthy—to commit to a diet of 1000 calories per day? And did you really intend to give up chocolate completely, especially when you knew darn well that hubby would be giving you the traditional heart-shaped box on Valentine’s Day?

If you find your original resolutions a bit too daunting, don’t be afraid to scale down. Reduce that list of multiple goals to just a few, and make them realistic and do-able— instead of pledging to run 40 miles a week, committ to work out for 30 minutes at least three times a week. Besides being realistic—with the built-in flexibility that allows you to move your workouts around—you’ll give yourself room to set a slightly loftier goal once you’ve achieved this initial one. You can still hang onto those other original goals—just add them to your working list, one at a time, as you succeed in meeting current goals.
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About The Author

Rebecca Pratt Rebecca Pratt
A freelance writer who contributes to various newspapers and magazines, Becky loves covering ordinary people doing extraordinary things.

Member Comments

  • Great article. - 8/16/2013 6:44:02 PM
  • Great motivating article, I am done giving up and beating my self up! Rewarding is the key to my success :D - 1/23/2013 4:35:10 PM
  • AFTER A LIFETIME OF YO YO DIETING AND SABOTAGING AT A POINT WHERE I AM LOOSING AND FEELING PLEASED, I DECIDED TO SET FORTH ONE GOAL PER MONTH AND SO FAR IT IS WORKING..... I AM DIETING ONE DAY ONLY AND IT IS THE PRESENT DAY SO MY FOCUS IS ONLY ON TODAY, TOMORROW IS TOO FAR AWAY. I WILL LET YOU KNOW HOW THIS NEW REVELATION OF MINE IS WORKING BY MONTHS END. WISH ME LUCK. - 1/23/2013 4:02:59 PM
  • I prefer to layer on good habits, one per week or every couple of days, that way I don't feel overwhelmed and I don't quit all of them at once. They aren't associated with each other.

    Case in point: I just made a discovery: I can't buy those adorable little 'mini cones' from Trader Joe's. I eat the whole box, one cone at a time. Its not a good habit to be in. But, guess what thats just one habit I need to change, not all of my good eating or exercising habits. Just one.

    I'm still logging my food, aiming for extra veggies, and exercising before breakfast. I forget which self help book it was that said if you add habits all at once that you are more likely to drop them all at the same time. - 1/23/2013 12:01:20 PM
  • Great reminder to own our goals and go easy on the implementation. Great timing for all of us struggling with new year resolution slow-downs. Thank you. - 1/23/2013 9:20:03 AM
  • Loved it! Just the lift I needed today. Thanks! - 4/19/2011 10:29:15 AM
  • I'm echoing what everyone else is saying and probably don't need to leave a comment but wanted to because it (the article) really WAS needed today! It made me look at not only my activity goal (which goes from being too lofty to non-existent) as well as some other things I had taken on that I probably shouldn't have! Time to re-evaluate and keep on a goin'!
    Thanks! - 4/13/2011 9:21:18 AM
  • Really good article! - 3/15/2011 9:23:32 AM
  • Wow, what a great article!
    As I get closer and closer to my goal I need to develop a good strategy to maintain and this article provides excellent points that I will certainly use. Thank you! - 10/22/2010 1:42:37 PM
  • LOISEM
    This article and everything in todays email is what I needed for now. I was diagnosed Type 2 diabetic about 6 months ago and with each day, I am discovering that I must take everything about this disease and my adherence one day at a time. Some days, it is even one hour at a time. I have done really well with diet, exercise and weight loss until the past few weeks. My body is getting settled in at the lower numbers my sugar should be and some days, it is difficult to figure out what and when to eat and exercise to stay at a happy medium without going too high or getting too low. Even the scales have not been my friend this week. I was beginning to feel discouraged. Today's email and every article and even comments from others has been very uplifting. Thank you everyone for being at the right place at the right time for me. - 10/22/2010 1:14:24 PM
  • MIGHTYN3
    I have to say this article was a lifesaver today & came at a much needed time. Very inspiring! - 10/22/2010 1:03:49 PM
  • Needed to hear this today. The unrealistic expectations of instantanious results leave you discoouraged and unfullfilled it is much better to work for it slowly and joyfully. Thanks - 9/27/2010 8:10:01 AM
  • MTMARE
    I have been "checking "my weight a little too much,after weighing today and being "up" 2 tenths of a pound, I was feeling discouraged. This article help put it in perspective. Thanks. The one step back, two steps forward often works with the scale, too. Only I geuss that would be one step up, two steps down. I know if I stick with it, it will work. - 5/20/2010 10:52:20 AM
  • This article is very encouraging. We have to remind ourselves we are only human. And changing bad habits to good takes a little time. Thankyou. - 2/3/2009 9:49:48 PM
  • I needed this article tonight. I didnt get the exercise in last week that I wanted and I'm feeling a little discouraged. I have to remember that I need to be in this for the long haul. Pick up and start again. - 2/3/2009 9:16:34 PM

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