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REALISTIC GOALS: How to get back on track

Updated: Mar 11, 2022

Do you make resolutions? Are you still working on them, a few months later? If not, you're not alone! Only 8 percent of people who make their resolutions actually keep them and 80 percent stop working on them just after two months. But now's a great time to restart your resolution!

The resolution is the "what", like losing weight. But the more important piece is the "how". This is the specific action you take to accomplish the "what". Be specific - are you going to go to the gym three days per week? Are you going to start packing your lunch for work?

Knowing your "why" is also important. Why do you want to lose weight? What will that bring you? Better health? More happiness because you can play with your kids more easily or participate in activities you had previously given up? Know your "why" and make sure it's big enough and strong enough to keep you going and working toward your goals.

If you worked on your resolution but gave up or didn't see the results you expected, the next step is problem-solving what went wrong. Are your goals realistic? If you made a goal of working out every day, how realistic is that actually?

Try starting smaller - plan to work out just two days a week for a month, then increase to three or four days per week. Think about striving for progress, not perfection. All you really need is to be better than you were the day before, even if it's just 1 percent better.

Part of the problem-solving process is identifying the barriers or challenges that prevent you from achieving your goal. If you set a goal of exercising 5 days per week but find yourself only making it to the gym two days per week - what happened? Did you forget to factor in your kids' weekly activities that prevent you from going to the gym after work? What is a solution to overcome that challenge? Maybe you plan to exercise before work if possible on those days.

Make a plan, be specific in the actions you are going to take to achieve your goals, and anticipate any challenges that may trip you up. If you plan ahead and know the big "why" of your goals, you'll set yourself up for success long-term.

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