Happy 2023!


Happy New Year! Welcome to 2023. Here it is, yet another new year. The new year welcomes a fresh start for new experiences and setting new goals. A New Year’s resolution is a good opportunity to set goals for the upcoming year; whether it be to begin exercising more, eating healthier, spending more time with family. It is a great time for some reflection and self-growth.

About half of Americans state that they make New Year’s resolutions. Sadly only 8% actually stick with it and achieve their goals. It is a great time to set a plan to achieve new goals for personal growth. A majority of these new lifestyle changes are abandoned within the first month. But why? Change is hard.

A goal is a desired outcome that would not be achieved without change, or an alternate route from the path of least resistance. Goals are created from a part of the brain, the frontal lobe, which is the brain’s center for logical problem solving and the capacity to plan. At the same time, a different part of the brain is responsible for impulsivity, the desire for instant gratification. In other words, it is easier to eat the piece of cake for instant gratification than to skip the desert to accomplish a long-term goal that has been set, even if the gratification of achieving a long-term goal is much more satisfying. So how do we fight the impulse for instant gratification? There are a few tips and tricks that you can use to set yourself up for success in achieving your goal.

1. PLAN! It is easy to tell yourself that you want to lose 30 pounds over the year. Without a well thought out plan, it is much easier to succumb to instant gratification and lose sight of the big picture. If you want to lose 30 pounds; have a plan of how you are going to do so, and be sure to write it down! Write down on a planner/calendar which days you will exercise, and have a written diet plan instead of just the thought of eating healthier.

2. SMALL STEPS. Set benchmarks and smaller steps towards the big picture. For example, if you want to lose 30-40 pounds over the year, take it in increments – “mini goals”. Each month set an individual goal: lose 3 pounds per month. Achieving mini goals creates a more manageable outlook for success and is much easier to reflect on small wins each month and creates the gratification of getting closer to your goal, creating more motivation to succeed.

3. LOG! Create a log for your small victories. Hang a calendar, each day that you complete your exercise, put a big green check mark in the box. Keep a log, each time you skip that piece of chocolate cake or your favorite sweet, write it down. Having a visual representation of the small victories on your journey of achieving your long-term goal will create an even better feeling of gratification than that piece of chocolate cake would.

4. SHARE YOUR GOALS! If you have a goal of losing weight, share your goals with a partner or friend. If you are doing it together, it can hold yourself accountable and give you more restraint from falling back into old habits. This may not be applicable to everyone, but it is not a be all end all for achieving your goal.
Most importantly, have fun with it. Implementing a plan can feel like work, but do your best to enjoy your road to success.

“Obstacles don't have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don't turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it.” -Michael Jordan