Hendricks County Flyer, Avon, IN

Commentary

January 4, 2013

How to keep your resolution without really trying

It's that time of year again. It has been nearly a week since the New Year rolled in and this is usually the point where 75 percent of Americans who made them are lamenting their broken New Year's resolutions.

The main problem with resolutions is that people tend to set the bar too high and set unrealistic goals.

"I'm going to be skinny, healthy, organized, giving, rich, and famous," they slur over a New Year's toast.

A week later they realize they've doomed themselves to failure, they become depressed and down on themselves, and they lapse into even more destructive behavior such as drinking, eating too much, and watching reality television.

But there are ways to modify your resolution that will ensure that you will succeed every time. It's not too late to make the necessary modifications.

The easiest way to succeed at keeping your resolution is to set the bar lower. For example, instead of resolving to "become skinny" or "lose 50 pounds," just say, "I resolve to lose weight this year." This keeps it wide open. Let's say you lose 5 pounds in March because you have the stomach flu. Bam! Success. You lost weight during the year, thus you achieved your goal and deserve to celebrate with a banana split. Doesn't success feel good?

Here's another one. Let's say you resolved to be more organized in the New Year. What you need to do is, get really unorganized for the first part of the year. Let the laundry pile up, lose a bill or two, forget to feed your cat a few times; you know, ignore unimportant things. Let this go on for a couple of weeks, then bounce back and resume normal activity. Bam! You are now more organized without really even having to change.

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