It’s one month into the new year. How are those resolutions going? In this week’s episode of the Sports Medicine Weekly podcast, Dr. Cole discusses goals and resolutions for the new year! A recent study found that 23 percent of people fail to keep their resolutions more than two weeks into the new year, and only 19 percent stick to their goals over the long haul. So, what’s the secret sauce? How do you become one of the exclusive, high achievers who set and actually follow through on their resolutions? Here are a few tips:
Set Realistic and Measurable Goals
While goals should be somewhat ambitious, they must be achievable. The surest way to fall short and give up is by setting a goal that is unattainable. Good resolutions are also measurable. So, instead of “I want to get healthier,” the goal should be “I will go to the gym three times a week.”
Make a Plan
Every long trip starts with a detailed road map. Make plans for how and when you will achieve your goal, as well as how you’ll deal with temptations and potential failures.
Sticking to your plan is the most difficult part of keeping a resolution. Psychologists say it takes 21 days of consistent behavior to establish a new habit and 6 months for it to become part of your personality. New healthful habits will become second-nature in no time.
Talk About Your Goals
Share your resolutions with family and friends. They will help keep you accountable, and with their help, your goals will be easier to achieve. A strong support system can help you change habits. Even better, find a friend who shares a similar resolution and continue to motivate each other!
Celebrate your small successes along the way. Treat yourself to something enjoyable that does not negatively impact the resolution. Did you meet your goal to regularly hit the gym? Treat yourself to a new workout outfit! Finally, be kind to yourself, establishing new habits can be hard, but is always worth it!
Authored by Zach Meeker, Research Assistant for Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush University Medical Center
Norcross JC, Vangarelli DJ. The resolution solution: longitudinal examination of New Year’s change attempts. J Subst Abuse. 1988-1989;1(2):127-34. doi: 10.1016/s0899-3289(88)80016-6. PMID: 2980864.
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