Franklin & Marshall College Franklin & Marshall College

January 2012 Wellness Tip

Keeping New Year's Resolutions

It's well known that millions of people make New Year's resolutions, but relatively few are successful in bolstering the resolve to achieve their goals.

If you're already feeling like you are losing the battle with recently-made resolutions, perhaps the following suggestions to rethink, restructure and refocus your goals might be the key:

1)  Make only one resolution.  Don't try to achieve too much at one time.  For example, if you are trying to quit smoking and lose weight at the same time, choose one or the other to tackle first.

2)  Draft specific goals.  Instead of generally saying that you want to lose weight, for example, target a specific amount of weight to lose at specific intervals (such as a reasonable goal of one pound per week).

3)  Focus on the positive aspects of your new behavior.  Think about how much better off you will be, rather than dwelling on the effort it will take or how difficult it might appear to be.

4)  Choose the most appropriate time.  If you haven't made a plan in advance of how to meet your goal, then perhaps the days ushering in the New Year might not be the best time to start.  If so, designate a date that is more opportune and when you will be better able to meet your goal.

5)  Develop a base of accountability by letting others know of your resolution.  Friends and family can provide great support.  If a goal is a more healthy lifestyle, you may wish to enroll in F&M's Lifestyle Returns program to commit to accumulating points for your wellness efforts to receive a cash reward, and to become familiar with the activities and programs available for you through F&M and Highmark BlueShield to help reach your goal.  For more on Lifestyle Returns and health information resources, visit our home page.

6)  Start out in small steps.  Divide your goal into achievable steps that will eventually lead you to success.  

7)  Write your resolution down.  Commit your goal to paper and steps to achieve it, and review it from time to time to access where you stand.

8) Realize that you WILL have setbacks, and don't be discouraged if you revert to old habits.  Consider these setbacks as temporary and no reason to give up, and get back on course.

9)  Be realistic.  Seriously consider what you want to accomplish and don't set yourself up for failure by setting your goal too high.

10)  Stay away from resolutions you made before.  If you make a similar pledge, think about why you were unsuccessful previously and take steps to avoid a similar outcome this time around.