Do You Need to Re-Think Your New Year’s Resolution?

We’re about a month into 2016. How are those New Year’s Resolutions going? If you laid off the sweets from Jan. 4 through Jan. 8 and then let yourself go for the weekend without getting back on track, don’t fret. You’re likely not the only one. Instead of beating yourself up, you may simply need to think about your goal or approach. Last year, we talked how to get used to physically writing down your New Year’s resolutions so they are ingrained in your memory and you are better able to follow through with each new act. Get a pen and paper and let’s make a 2016 game plan.

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My first tip is to stay realistic and specific. For example, ‘losing weight this year’ is a lofty but attainable goal for many people, but in my opinion it can be more within reach if the exact goal is as detailed as possible. Instead, it can be written as “lose five pounds in the next six weeks by going to the gym at least three times a week.” This not only demonstrates the thought process behind how to lose the weight but also trains your mind to visualize exactly how you will get to your goal. Another example is “eat healthier,” which could be rewritten to say “replace my bag of potato chips during lunch with a salad four times a week at a minimum” or “eat fast food three times a month and by the end of the year make sure it’s only once a month.” The last most common example that graces many people’s’ lists is “make more money.” A better way to paraphrase this can include “allot myself a certain amount of saving money from each paycheck so I can use it to invest in more lucrative projects” or “promise myself to take on X project at work so my boss can consider me for that promotion I’ve always wanted.”

Be patient and take each day at a time. If you think about it a year isn’t really that long a time so be excited and prepared for the growth you are capable of in 2016.

dr. uruj kamal

dr. uruj kamal

Dr. Uruj Kamal is Chief Resident of Adult Outpatient Psychiatry at Baystate Medical Center-University of Massachusetts Medical School. A Stony Brook native, she enjoys combining her knowledge of mental health with healthy living. Dr. Kamal has a special interest in outpatient adult psychiatry.