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5 Steps to Creating Realistic New Year’s Resolutions That Stick

Ever find yourself at the end of the holiday season in a turkey coma wondering, “What should my New Year’s resolution be?”

You’re not alone.

Fast forward six months later and that new in-home treadmill you’ve purchased makes a better hanger than a source of motivation for your first 10 kilometre run you’ve committed to doing in the Spring. Don’t worry, we’ve all been there.

Setting a New Year’s resolution and sticking to it can be tough! Whether it’s a promise to go to the gym, getting organized, or spending less money, Doctors Nova Scotia is here to help you create realistic New Year’s Resolutions that will last!

All you have to do is follow our five step guide to setting practical and achievable goals and you’ll be well on your way to conquering last year’s bad habits and embracing the new year with confidence and certainty.

1. Get specific

When considering what sort of resolution you’d like to take on for the New Year, think specific instead of general. For example, instead of thinking “I’d like to be more fit” try setting something that’s more measurable like, “I’m going to be physically active for 30 minutes everyday.” By setting a measurable goal, you not only have something to look forward to everyday, you have something to celebrate once you’ve accomplished it!

2. Make it fit into your lifestyle

Committing to a New Year’s resolution is exciting. However, sometimes that excitement can get the best of us, causing us to make impulsive decisions without really considering how it will fit into our daily routines. That’s why it’s important to make a resolution that is ambitious yet realistic to your unique circumstances and lifestyle.

3. Identify road blocks

Now that you’ve identified a specific goal and you have determined that it definitely fits into your lifestyle, it’s important to consider the obstacles that might get in the way of you reaching your goal. This my friend, is risk mitigation at its finest.

Identify the things that might slow you down or throw you off course and prepare for them. Plan a way around them. For example, if you work at a job where you are sitting most of the day and you’re wanting to be more active, acknowledge that your roadblock is the risk of being sedentary for long periods of time and make an effort to get up and move every 20-minutes or so.

Road blocks can be a challenge but there’s always another way to get to your destination!

4. Get some support

It’s only natural to stray from the path of resolution at least once in the run of a year. But after one or two slips it can be easy to fall back into old habits. One great way to avoid this is to surround yourself with a solid support system. You can gain a lot of motivation and inspiration from close friends and family. Try talking to them when the going gets tough or ask them to join you in your New Year’s resolution journey.

5. Don’t be too hard on yourself!

When setting and living out your goals, stay positive! This can be anything from using positive language when initially writing down your goals, providing yourself with the occasional pep talk, or listening to up-beat tunes when morale is low. But mostly importantly, don’t be so hard on yourself if you don’t see results or meet your goal right away.

If your progress is slow, take comfort in the fact there is progress. Do your best and remember to celebrate all of your accomplishments, big or small.

To help you stick to your resolutions, we created a printable template to record your goals.

Simply stick this list to your fridge as a daily reminder of your goals and progress.

HINT: Edit your goals as you go. Life happens while we’re busy planning, so feel good about adjusting your goals throughout the year.

New Year's Resolutions Template

Goal for 2016 – Printable Template

What’s your New Year’s resolution? Leave us a comment in the section below and tell us how you plan on making it stick?