The American Psychiatric Association (APA) offers the following tips to help families and individuals keep their resolutions for a healthy mind and life.
1. Don’t make too many resolutions. Pick a realistic, attainable goal with a reasonable time frame. A couple of small goals works best.
2. Choose your own resolution. Make sure your goal is something that “you” want to accomplish for yourself and not just for friends or family. Always lose weight for yourself, not others.
3. Make a plan and write it down. Plan what you’d like to accomplish in a certain period of time, like three months. Achieving goals over time gives you a sense of accomplishment and motivation to keep going. Writing your goals down is a good way to keep track of your progress.
4. Involve friends and family. They can support your efforts and can motivate you to keep going. Group activities are just more fun.
5. If you get off track, forgive yourself. Review your plan and make adjustments–but, never give up.
6. Congratulate and reward yourself when your intermediate goals or resolutions are met routinely. Keep in mind it’s a lifestyle change that is intended to be self reinforcing.
Since, I am research driven, I make resolutions a routine part of my day. That is, if I run across convincing studies, I’ll make a resolution to follow that advice starting that day. Of course, you must be open to improving and changing yourself. This means that you’ll feel insecure at first until you adjust. But, adjustments are the nature of change and personal evolution–we can’t grow without it. So, lets embrace changing ourselves for the better. Carpe Diem Lee Johnson, www.creativeretirementforwomen.com