Realizing Realistic Resolutions:

Courtesy photo.

By Keegan Ried:

Well, that’s it folks. The year 2017 has come and gone and now it’s time to start making those New Year’s resolutions so you have something to work toward… for about 30 days. The new year is swiftly approaching and you would like to be skinnier, work harder, make better grades, visit the gym, but we all know what will happen. You’ll get excited and work really hard toward your goal for one month and then your enthusiasm will fade faster than Al Franken’s senatorship.

As we move forward let’s look at ways to ensure that you will be able to keep those New Year’s resolutions and be successful for once in your life.

Most people looking to develop a resolution dream big about what they want to accomplish.

Stop it. Seriously.

Be realistic about something you can accomplish by this time next year. If you’ve never run in your life, your goal should be a 5k or 10k by the end of the year, not the Boston Marathon. If you’ve never painted, set a goal to simply take lessons all year, not a goal that has you repainting the Sistine Chapel. Try to set a goal that forces you to get out of your comfort zone but is actually attainable in the next 12 months.

Another issue people have is they only look at the end result, not the grueling 12-month journey that will take them there. When you set your year-end goal, also determine what milestones you will celebrate throughout the year. If you plan to run a half-marathon next December, set dates for a 5k and 10k that you can complete so that you have some smaller victories between now and then. As you complete these smaller goals, your self-esteem will be bolstered and you will be propelled toward the next mile marker. This will help prevent the fatigue that plagues us all when we try to accomplish big goals that seem too far away.

You have friends and family – use them! No, I don’t mean crush them beneath your feet on your way to victory; I’m telling you to involve them in your plans so that they can help hold you accountable. This added layer of encouragement works in several ways. One, it creates a network of people that will keep you on track and keep you honest about your progress while, two, it gives you a source of encouragement so that you can be emotionally refueled during this arduous process. (By the way, if you have someone who is always telling you that you’ll never reach your goal, determine if they are right by checking with others. If the goal is attainable, then tell that negative Nancy to hit the road. If your goal is confirmed unattainable by many wise advisers, go back to the drawing board and rethink your goals.)

With attainable goals, small milestones to celebrate, and a network of people who will encourage and support you, surely you’ll be able to make it to 2019 with at least one resolution marked off your list. You are your greatest asset and greatest weakness. Get out of your way and be successful.

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