I completed the Resolution Run this year. It’s a 5Km done on New Year’s Eve. My way of resolving to continue my running efforts for another year. Here are a few of my buddies from my Chi Running Group who have helped me keep going this year when I didn’t really want to. Thanks gang!

When you read a statistic that says that more than 50% of resolutions are broken after six months, do you get discouraged?

You shouldn’t. While 46% of resolvers carry on after six months, only 4% of unresolvers are successful after 6 months.

The big question is what makes a good resolution?

In essence, making resolutions is just a form of goal setting. The same basic principles apply.

1. Be specific. The clearer you are about what you’re trying to accomplish, the better. For example, if you want to stop incurring debt, you’ll want to write things down like “I will no longer use my credit cards or lines of credit” and “I will live within my means”.

2. Be prepared for obstacles. Change is uncomfortable, for everyone. Don’t expect this to be easy. The difference between success and failure is in the willingness to work through the discomfort instead of giving up. Create a support system so that you’re not trying to get through the difficulties alone. Have a friend you can call or text while you’re staring down the box of chocolates at work!!

3. Take daily action to get closer to your goal. That may mean five minutes of reading to keep you motivated or going for a run. The key is the daily persistence to keep the motivation strong.

4. Set realistic goals. If you have 50lbs to lose, plan on taking at least a year to do it (a year and half would be better). There will be blips along the way that throw you off track. Plan for them, work through them, and carry on toward your goal.

5. Visualize your end result. Athletes use this all the time. They literally imagine themselves competing, from the sound of the gun to the finish line and the cheering fans. If that doesn’t create a strong emotional reaction, then you need to really evaluate how committed you are to this. Is this your goal, or someone else’s? Commitment is not optional and is not something that you can fake.

6. Write it down and look at it often. I suggest looking at your goal daily and keeping your visualization handy. Read it and feel it when times get tough. If you’re really committed and your visualization is complete, it will give you the strength to move through.

A comment here about deadlines; although timelines are important, many people get so caught up in the ‘I’ll be out of debt by ____’ that if they see that they won’t hit the deadline, they give up. Completing your goal is far more important than hitting the deadline. Better to move the timeframe and be successful than be a sourpuss because it didn’t happen on your timeline.

When it comes to resolutions and goals, you need to be rigidly flexible. Meaning, be persistent, but be reasonable. Just keep at it and it will happen.

Kerri Fullerton ND

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