Resolutions. Every year we are asked to make them, and every year it seems as if they are impossible to keep. We mess up one day, and the purpose for doing it seems to go out the window. We view ourselves as failures, give up on the other 364 days, and often remake those very same resolutions next year! So how do we make resolutions that will bring success to our lives, rather than disappointment? How do we make them achievable, even with an “off” day? Let’s dig a little deeper into the word itself, and go from there!!

The word “Resolution” means, “that act of finding an answer or solution to a problem or conflict”. So the first thing we need to do when we get asked “what’s your New Year’s Resolution”, is to figure out what problem or issue is in our life that we would like to change. Most people would say, “to lose weight, get healthy, clean up my act, etc.”, but that often leaves one with a Mount Kilimanjaro task and very little foundation. It’s great to want to become a healthier version of yourself, but how are you going to do that?

First things first, rather than giving yourself a 365 day task that you decided upon when you were overly confident at the beginning of the year, break it up into monthly resolutions that will lead to your ultimate goal. Each month, alter one aspect of your health, in order to keep it simple and obtainable, allowing yourself to feel successful throughout the year. For example:

New Year’s Resolution 2016: Lose 50 lbs.

January: Increase physical activity by 3 hours each week

February: Change my normal Eggo waffle breakfast to Oatmeal

March: Have only 2 sodas each week

April: Turn my Grande Lattes with whip cream into Tall Lattes with no whip cream

Etc. Etc. Etc.

These small resolutions all have the same goal in mind: lose weight! However, each little resolution seems more attainable than losing 50 lbs. and will ultimately lead to you achieving that goal. The added exercises will become easier, your taste buds will change, and eventually your pants will start fitting better.

Second thing, let’s remember that we are not perfect! Don’t set a goal that is almost impossible to achieve. You will have bad days, time will get away from you, and sometimes you may just not want to do something. So, rather than cutting out sugar completely, try reducing it. This allows you to have a bad day, eat your mother’s baking, have birthday cake, etc. Aim for only 2 treats a week! This minor alteration from, let’s say, 5 plus treats a week, will give you the desired results you are looking for.

Lastly, there is no such thing as success without failure. Do not allow yourself to be burdened by one rough day, week, or month. This is a 365 day journey that will have its ups and downs. Enjoy the journey, learn from your mistakes, and remember never to give up. “If you are sick of starting over, then stop quitting”!