Editorial: Keeping the resolution

It seems we’ve been ushered into the New Year with renewed winter weather. Welcome to 2018! Now, grab your mittens and gird yourself for the renewed winter chill. With the new year come new ideas on how we should live.

It’s resolution season and you know what that means — most of us who made a resolution will have forgotten about it or given up on their resolution by February.

Some people are vowing to exercise more, others have decided to eat cleaner (farewell, french fries). Perhaps you’ve chosen to actually commit to the new hobby you said you were going to try last year. Maybe you have decided to read something ambitious, or just to find the time to finish a book this year. Some people have elected to do more volunteer work or to be kinder to their cranky neighbor. Maybe you want to be more productive at work.

In an effort to increase the number of people who achieve their resolutions, The Courier has some recommendations to ensure that some of us hold out until next year.

First things first. Is your goal something you can measure? Maybe your resolution is to feel healthier — how are you going to track this? Are you tracking your health by the number on the scale, your blood pressure, the number of vegetables consumed, or by the way your pants fit? Or maybe you’ve decided you want to be a better person. Are you measuring this by the number of people you help, or how often you help? By charitable donations? By listening to your elderly neighbor gush about his precious cat, Mr. Whiskers, for more than a few minutes before scurrying off to work?

Having a goal that you can measure will help you keep track of it, and if you can keep track of it, you have a better shot of actually achieving it.

OK, so you have your goal and you can measure your progress with it. Great. Now try setting small goals that align with your resolution. For those of you trying to shed the holiday weight or more, check in with your progress every month. If your goal is to lose 30 pounds, try to drop five pounds by Feb. 1, and if you achieved your goal, set another one for the next month.

Actively make an effort to keep your resolution. Put reminders in your phone to go to the gym or reward yourself for achieving your smaller goals. Were you able to achieve your fitness goal for the month? Yeah, awesome — reward yourself with running pants that aren’t falling off you.

Keep in mind, it’s easier to keep a resolution if you don’t make your resolution the focal point of your life. Don’t make yourself feel guilty if everything you do doesn’t bring you closer to your new goal. Some weeks are more hectic than others. Some months you might fall short of your smaller goals. That’s OK — just try to reach next month’s goal. There’s no point beating yourself up about it. We’re human, we’re not infallible.

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