Want to Keep Your New Year’s Resolutions?—Keep Them Realistic!

Published: December 3, 2018

Do you ever have trouble keeping your New Year’s resolutions?

You’re not alone. Most of us start the year with the best of intentions. But after a few weeks of our best behavior, we sometimes go from “full steam ahead” to “out of gas.”

The biggest pitfall with New Year’s resolutions is setting out at a much more ambitious pace than we can maintain. That’s not surprising—given that our holiday energy is at its peak. Several weeks into January, though, and we’re feeling a little blah. Our energy is more: “Let’s just get through this somehow.”

And you know what? Getting through things is just fine. There will always be a season for just doing the best that we can manage.

But we do want to make our lives better. So how do we make resolutions that actually result in meeting our goals?

The key to achievable improvement is to make truly realistic resolutions, and then take small, deliberate steps to achieve them. And it doesn't hurt if those realistic resolutions also help to make us stronger and healthier.

What are some examples of “realistic resolutions?” These three are pretty easy for most of us achieve—and good for most of us to keep:

Drink More Water

Getting enough water is pretty important for everyone. It helps to regulate body temperature, lubricates joints, protects the spinal cord, and helps us get rid of the stuff our body doesn’t need. To ensure you get enough water, get a reusable bottle and keep it with you throughout the day. A good goal to shoot for is 64 ounces—or eight eight-ounce glasses—a day.

Move More

Recent research shows that long periods of inactivity can be hard on your body, soul, and mind. The risks of sitting too much include obesity, high blood pressure, and even poor memory. It’s a good idea to spend some time each day moving quite a bit—and some time each waking hour moving just a little. Each day, take a walk or a hike or bike or a swim—even if it’s just for fifteen minutes. And when you’re sitting, whether at work or at leisure, get up every now and then to move around and stretch your muscles. Your mind and body will thank you.

Have a Positive Attitude

It’s not the nature of life to be great all the time. But how we think—and talk—about life is under our control. When things aren’t going your way, do the best you can to find the glimmer of light on the horizon, and avoid getting bogged down by negative thoughts and talk. Remind yourself of these three things: Your situation is not permanent. Bad luck is not personal. And there are good things around you if you take the time to look.

Also, don’t be afraid to ask for help. If you don’t know where to go, Families First can help you find it.

And don’t be hard on yourself if you can’t keep these, or other resolutions, no matter how big or small. If you find yourself lapsing into old habits, think of it as a bump in the road, not a total breakdown. Every great success story comes with a few stories of failure that happened along the way. Quite often, those moments are the ones that end up meaning the most.