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Requires Realistic View When Making Resolutions
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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.
Most people 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
1 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
- Select resolutions
based on small increments of achievement — have sub-goals
- Keep a daily
or weekly ledger or diary of your progress to help monitor
- Make a written
contract with yourself, specifying the details of your steps.
- Reward yourself,
but not excessively, with material items. 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 goal:
- 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.
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