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As another year approaches, many individuals will be considering New Year’s resolutions. They will agonize over whether to challenge themselves with a resolution that’s hard to keep or to choose one with a greater probability of success. There will be individuals who will consider resolutions so bizarre that they will have little to no chance of keeping their vow.

A New Year’s resolution is a personal commitment that a person makes to change a bad habit, to achieve a new goal or to improve something about their life.  All of us engage in wishful thinking about the upcoming year.  We tell ourselves that for better health, we are going to completely stop eating junk food, start working out seven days a week or walk every day. However, making health vows that are too big may be the very thing that ruins your efforts.

Experts say that about half of the people who make New Year’s resolution don’t last past mid-January and only a very small percentage achieve their goals. So, instead of deciding to lose a crazy amount of weight or some other unobtainable goal, choose a more realistic goal and stick with the plan for success.

Let’s take a look at four realistic goals that can improve your well-being and that you can build from.

  1. Spend less time procrastinating. Procrastination is delay of an action, such as postponing something for another day or week. No doubt you’ve heard someone say, “Never put off for tomorrow, what you can do today.” Benjamin Franklin said, “You may delay, but time will not, and lost time is never found again.” Stop procrastinating and you will discover that you are able to stick with your plans.
  2. If you are a smoker, cut down. If you are a pack-a-day smoker, it’s probably a lot to ask to cut out smoking completely by February or March. Cold turkey may work for some, but reducing cigarettes gradually may make it more manageable for you. So, whatever you decide to do have a plan and stick to the plan for improved health.
  3. Work out for a healthy mind and body. Most people decide they will exercise once a day and set that as their New Year’s resolution. But is this a realistic goal or is it just wishful thinking. Perhaps you should set a goal of working out three times a week as a starting point and work up to a more frequent exercise program. The less you are frustrated trying to obtain your goal, the more likely you will obtain it.
  4. Self-preservation. With the new year approaching, the tendency is to think about all the things you planned to do for yourself but didn’t get around to them. Go back to #1 above and see if this doesn’t resolve your problem.

Have a wonderful and blessed New Year’s and Never Give Up! Never Give Up! Never Give Up!

By Chaplain Ghosten

chaplain@lhp.net