New Year’s Resolutions: Why We Don’t Keep Them

If you're making resolutions for 2014, beware of these obstacles that prevent real change.

Here's a discouraging statistic: According Forbes, only 8 percent of New Year's resolutions are successful. Are you hoping to beat the odds? You are much more likely to see real changes in 2014 if you acknowledge and prevent some of the most common reasons most resolutions fade out before February.

Your goals are too vague.

"I want to be a better spouse/friend/employee." That's great – but what does "better" mean? Your goals should be specific and measurable. Instead of wanting to exercise "more," say you'll exercise 5 days a week for 30 minutes. Instead of saying you want to "eat better," determine specific calorie counts, or limits for trans fats, sodium, or refined sugar.

You're trying to change too quickly.

Lasting change is gradual. Your resolution is an end goal, and you need to work up to it. If you're reshaping your diet, start with just one mandatory healthy meal a week. Next step: one full day of healthy eating. Keep going, slowly, until you're eating right full-time.

You're taking on too many changes at once.

If you've written a three-page manifesto detailing all the changes you want to make this year, you're on the path for a February failure. Pick just one resolution, and give it your full attention.

You're not properly motivated.

Ask yourself why you've chosen this resolution. Again, details are essential. "Because I know I should" isn't going to give you the strength necessary when you're feeling tempted to return to old habits. Brainstorm some powerful motivators – and write them down for later.

Start out the new year on the right foot! When was your last check-up? If you need a physician referral, give us a call at 1-855-296-6265.

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