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-By Brett Qualls, PT, DPT, OCS

As we move forward into 2017, most people are thinking about New Year’s resolutions. What will yours be? Are you going to be able to keep it this year? There really is a lot of resolution stress out there. You have to make sure that you pick the right one! Nobody wants to be the kid with a lame resolution for the new year. Irregardless of the nature of your resolution, following through with keeping it up tends to be the real trick. The classic example of this is working out at the gym. The parking lots of all of the local gyms are jam packed for the first two to three weeks of January, then slowly taper off. The best made plans fall to ruin if you cannot stick with your resolutions. There certainly are a few easy tricks to increase your chances of making good on your resolution.

Make It Measurable

There really is nothing worse than a resolution that cannot be measured. How will you ever know if you achieve your resolution if you do not have a valid measure for success. If your goal is weight loss: I suggest using pounds lost/gained as your benchmark. This may sound simplistic, but to just say that you want to “lose weight” can be frustrating if you do not have some standard for what that really looks like. Set a goal for pounds of weight lost in a week, month, or quarter. Setting a measurable goal allows you to track your progress and even a baby step-worth of progress can help to motivate you to push forward towards your goal.

Enlist Your Friends

Since most of the resolutions that we set involve depriving ourself of an indulgence or putting ourself through some sort of challenge, the more support that we have the better. Misery loves company! If you are going to start going on a daily walk, bringing a friend along makes the process more enjoyable and helps to create accountability. You can only dodge your morning walk buddy for so long before they are banging on your door at 6:00 AM. By including friends in your resolution, the transition to a newer healthy you is much more realistic.

Be Realistic

We all have our limits, and setting an unattainable goal is an excellent way to set yourself up to fail. Certainly lofty goals are something to shoot for, but your goals or resolutions should be within reason. Please do not mistake this as a suggestion to set a goal that is too easily attained. “I’m going to give up doughnuts for 1 day!” Set a goal that requires work but that allows you to be successful. If you happen to reach your goal by May, go right ahead and set yourself another one!

With all of the hoopla about resolutions for the New Year, I suggest selecting one that sounds both comfortable and realistic to you. Make a goal to improve your health, eat better, exercise more, or give up an unhealthy vice. Set a resolution that will help you to become a better version of yourself!

*Copyright Havasu Living Magazine

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