New Year, Now What?

Are you one of those people who feel compelled to write goals/resolutions for the year?  Some people who do probably already feel discouraged they are not working toward their resolutions.  I find using the term “promises” rather than resolutions or goals helps me to be more diligent actually following up with the steps it takes to succeed.  Since my mother taught me as a young child to not make promises unless I plan to keep them, I also take making them both more seriously and realistically.

For example, I am still a few pounds over “ideal weight”, but saying I promise to take that last 15-20 pounds off in a month is not realistic for me.  Besides research shows people who lose weight rapidly also tend to gain back what they have lost and sometimes a bit more also in a short period of time.  So, for me, one of my promises is a little vague, but doable.  I promise to eat more vegetables/fruit and less sweets (without giving an exact number) in order to give my body better fuel, and me more energy, as well as to gradually release the excess weight.


1.  First review your own life values.  Are you living the way you want to in order to be in synchrony with them?

2.  When you identify a gap between what you value and what you feel you would need to do to be more in synchrony with them, choose a path to remedy the gap.

3.  Make a realistic promise to yourself, including a realistic time frame (usually more than one month) to accomplish it.

4.  Identify small steps that are measurable you can work on daily, weekly, etc.

5.  Give yourself a little treat when you accomplish a small step (which for me would not include “comfort food”).

6.  Depending on the promise, you may wish to engage a partner who has made a similar promise, such as to begin an exercise regimen (or just participating in fun “movement” such as dancing, riding a bike, etc.) to help you stay motivated.

7. If you feel you are “failing” you may wish to rethink whether the promise is what you really wanted in the first place and,  if needed, modify or even change it in order to be more likely to be successful.

Change of any kind is challenging, but if what you want is more important to you than staying where you are at today, try making promises to yourself, be patient and if needed re-evaluate/modify your promise so you are much more likely to succeed!



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