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Setting Realistic Resolutions

Posted on: 12/14/2016

As we say goodbye to 2016, millions of people are thinking about their New Year's resolution. According to Nielsen, 2015's top resolutions were: Stay fit & healthy, Lose weight, and Enjoy life to the fullest. While these sound like great resolutions, they lack the structure necessary to make them achievable. We asked our director of Neuropsychology, Dr. Aubrey Bottoms, what steps you should take towards successfully completing your goals, whether it's a new year's resolution or a to-do list for spring cleaning. Here's what she had to say:

1. Write down your goals.
Buy a notebook specifically for goal setting or journaling that you like and brings feelings of joy when you see and use it. Keep it easily accessible so that you can continually track your progress, revise goals, etc.

2. Write your goals in the first person as if you've already accomplished it. 
For example: "I am practicing yoga four days per week," as opposed to "start yoga."

3. Goals should be measurable.
i.e. "I will lose two inches in my hips," vs "Have clothes fit more loosely."

4. Set reasonable but aggressive deadlines.
Work to achieve multiple short-term goals that will compound and facilitate achievement of larger goals: "Get rid of two boxes of kitchen items by Sunday" vs "Clean out the house by February."

5. Commit. Period.
There is no "I will try or I am trying." You either are or you aren't. You're either doing it or not.

6. Perhaps most importantly, come from the place of "I am ready NOW." Don't think, just do.

With these tips you can make a resolution and stick to it. Here's to a great 2017!

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