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Why Your New Years' Resolutions Don't Work

As 2019 is coming to a close, you may be reflecting on the past year and preparing to make changes for 2020. Did you meet the goals you set for the last year? According to US News & World Report, if you're like 80% of Americans you DID NOT. We typically ditch our New Year's Resolutions by February! Why do we give up so soon and seemingly so easily? How can we make 2020 the year we finally reach those goals?

1. Be specific- We tend to give up on goals that are too vague and obscure. By setting SMART goals we can eliminate confusion and reduce indifference. Your goal should be;

Specific - State what you'll do. Use action words.

Measurable - determine how to track your progress

Attainable - set goals that are within your abilities to achieve

Realistic- achieving the goal is possible

Time Based - set a timeline to accomplish this goal

Write it down and be as specific as possible.

2. Find Your "WHY"- Saying you want to lose 10lbs. can be motivating to some people but getting real with WHY you want to lose 10lbs takes you a little deeper. Going on a cruise? Want to wear your skinny jeans? Or do you want better results on your blood work? The more specific you can be with your "WHY" the easier it is to stay focused.

3. Don't get overwhelmed - sometimes it's best to set smaller goals such as "I want to lose 3lbs in January." or "I'm going to workout 5x a week instead of 3x". Making small changes can lead to big changes over time.

4. Be patient!- Change doesn't happen overnight! Be gentle with yourself (hello, self-care!) and don't beat yourself up over slight mis-steps. Keep the end goal in mind, and one day of falling off the wagon doesn't mean you can't get right back on and continue on your journey.

5. Make sure you're ready to change. Sometimes the idea of the end-goal is so appealing that we latch on to it. The reality is, we may not be ready to put in the work that's necessary to reach the goal. You may say "I want to run a marathon in 2020." But you have to be willing to do what it takes to accomplish that goal. If you're not ready, no New Year's Resolution is going to be successful. After all, a goal without a plan is just a wish.

Here's to a successful, healthy, & joyful 2020!

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