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Realistic view required when making resolutions
Ever make a New Year’s resolution and not keep it? Setting
short-term goals that lead to the larger, overall goal increases
the likelihood of keeping your resolve, according to a Texas
Woman’s University psychologist.
make resolutions because they want to change something about
themselves that they don’t like, said Dr. Don Rosen,
director of the Counseling Center at Texas Woman’s University.
But when results don’t come immediately, many people
give up on their resolutions.
resolutions and keeping them is one of the most difficult
tasks for anyone to manage at the beginning of the new year,”
Dr. Rosen said. “People also don’t tend to think
out their resolutions very well; instead, they tend to make
impulsive decisions and rash goals. More than 60 percent of
all resolutions are abandoned in the first quarter of the
sub-goals help you get where you want to be,” he added.
“If you want to lose 10 pounds, set a sub-goal of losing
one pound a month, not losing 10 pounds in one month.”
Taking those small
steps — the sub-goals — toward the larger goal
helps ensure overall success, Dr. Rosen said. But those resolved
to making changes in their lives also must remember there
will be some setbacks along the way.
Setbacks are common,
Dr. Rosen said. “Use setbacks to reevaluate yourself,
as a learning experience and as a tool to make changes for
the better,” he said.
in baseball if someone hits the ball three times out of 10,
he’s doing well,” he added. So don’t become
discouraged if you don’t hit your goal every time you
take a swing at it.
Dr. Rosen suggests
that resolution-makers follow these steps:
• Assess yourself. Look at your skills and use them
to establish steps toward setting goals;
• Select resolutions based on small increments of achievement
— have sub-goals within goals;
• Keep a daily or weekly ledger or diary of your progress
to help monitor behavior. Make a written contract with yourself,
specifying the details of your steps;
• Reward yourself — but not excessively —
as you achieve sub-goals. Graciously accept and enjoy compliments
and positive feedback from peers;
• Be patient with yourself. Often, people are their
own worst critics.
If you revert to your old habits and don’t reach your
• Admit and analyze your mistakes, and continue with
the steps. Don’t be overwhelmed by small setbacks;
• Seek help from others or those who are trying to accomplish
the same thing;
• Join a support group or enlist the help of friends.
Amanda McKeen Simpson
Director of News and Information
Tel: (940) 898-3456