Most people give up on their New Year’s resolutions within a few weeks. This is often due to unrealistic expectations, vague goals or too many goals, and lack of support and motivation. Real change is possible but it takes time, effort, and commitment and doesn’t happen instantly.

My client, Molly, age 78, always set goals for the New Year, but this time she was determined to make them achievable.
“Rather than something extreme, like some crazy diet, I’m focusing on just a couple things when it comes to improving my health. I plan to walk for 20 minutes a day, and drink seltzer water instead of sugary soda. For my mental health, I’ve signed up for an art class I always wanted to take. I think if I start with just those 3 things in January, I’ll feel good.”

Are there health goals you would like to achieve this year? Small, well-defined goals with a step-by-step plan on how you will achieve them and how you will track your progress will set the stage for success. Try these tips to get started:

  • Write down one or two goals, the date you will start making the change, and the specific steps you will take. Break the goals down into clear, manageable chunks.
  • Mentally practice the healthy behavior and picture yourself achieving the goal. Remind yourself of why you are working on these goals and the desired end result. Perhaps it’s better health and more confidence, or living with less stress.
  • Celebrate progress. Decide in advance to reward yourself when you reach certain goals or milestones.
  • Ask for support. Ask family and friends to support your efforts to achieve your goals. Avoid people and situations that you know will derail you.
  • Remember that perfection is not attainable. It’s normal to backslide or feel unmotivated. The important thing is to shrug off mistakes and keep going.

If you or someone in your family are facing aging challenges, please give us a call at (920) 740-8441 or email us at sue@coylecaremanagement.com. We’ll be happy to assist!