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How To Keep New Year’s Resolutions

January 8, 2013 2:00 PM

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(Credit: Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)

(Credit: Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)

(Credit: Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)

(Credit: Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)

By Hyacynth Worth

Most of us make them, and then most of us break them.

Resolutions are uttered the first days of January, but by February we’ve already abandoned that which we so wanted.

Or did we? Did we really want what we resolved to have?

And at what cost?

As the owner of a weight-loss center and fitness club here in the northern suburbs of Chicago, I’m well-versed in resolution making and breaking — for myself and with others.

Here are a few sure-fire ways to succeed in keeping your resolutions.

Realistic

You’ve heard it before — set realistic goals. And you should; trying to lose 20 pounds in two months is probably an unrealistic goal that will serve to depress you more than motivate.

But that’s not all. Resolutions need to be realistic in terms of what you believe. This is where you’ll need to do the hard work of identifying your values and distinguishing them from ideals. Most of us make resolutions based on our ideals — something that we see as valuable but have not completely embraced as an actual value. Values are what drive our decisions; we operate out of our values — not the other way around. So, if you want to lose weight, for example, ask yourself why. And then ask yourself if the why is a value or an ideal.

If the why is a value, you’ll be one of the few who have an easier time keeping your resolution. If the why is an ideal, here are some tips to turn ideals into values.

(Credit: Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images for Girl Behind the Camera)

(Credit: Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images for Girl Behind the Camera)

Time

When we resolve to make a habit, we must invest time into it! For example, if we want to have healthier bodies, it’s essential to treat our bodies well. So what do we do? We focus on stress management, moving well and nourishing our bodies through eating nutrient dense foods — all of which requires time and commitment. Don’t want to commit to putting the time into it? Likely, you’ll find yourself with a broken resolution by February because this ideal will never grow into a value. Remember, we act out of values. Carve time out to make new habits, and schedule times for those new habits. The more time we invest into something, the more likely that something will become an value and a kept resolution.

Support

Here’s what I’m NOT saying: Abandon all your friends who don’t share the same values and ideals.

Here’s what I am saying: Find a group of people who share the same goals as you. Don’t just rub elbows with them; share life with them. Encourage each other, and hold each other accountable.

Need to find people with the same interests? Chicago has tons of Meetup groups!

Investment

It’s often true that where our money goes our hearts often follow. When we make an investment with money, we often become more vested both in time spent and emotionally. Think about it — you probably find a good amount of motivation in paying for a gym membersip, which I would recommend if you’re trying to get into shape during the harsh Chicago winters!

Hyacynth Worth writes almost daily at Undercover Mother.

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