• Dr. Mary MW Killmeyer

Don’t’ Make These 4 Mistakes When Setting Your Resolutions

As the end of 2018 gets closer and closer it’s hard not to think about what we want 2019 to bring. Setting resolutions gives us hope for the next year and motivation to achieve our dreams. Before the ball drops, take some time to think through your goals and resolutions and set yourself up for success by avoiding these four common mistakes.

1. Your resolutions aren’t realistic. Let’s get this one out of the way. It may be obvious when thinking about your goals, but it shouldn’t be ignored. Typically, we set goals and resolutions because we have found something we are dissatisfied with. It seems natural to want to move the meter as far away from that as possible, but grand sweeping changes are hard to stick with. You’re more likely to get frustrated and drop your resolution before flipping the calendar to February.

2. Your resolution is too vague. Another classic hurdle to success is not getting specific about what you are trying to do. Broad goals like being happier, losing weight, or travelling more are great ideas but if you aren’t narrowing your focus, they will be hard to do. Think about the specific activities or behaviors that are associated with your resolution and how you are going to do them. For example, instead of being happier try writing in a daily gratitude journal, getting into nature more often, or shutting down your devices (or at least reducing the time you spend on them).

3. You haven’t set a deadline. More specifically, you haven’t set several deadlines. Break your resolution down into manageable tasks that build up to the desired end result. If you give yourself the entire year to get it done, it will be too easy to put it on the back burner and ultimately forget about it. Set up monthly or weekly goals and check in with yourself and ask a friend or family member to help keep you accountable.

4. You aren’t keeping track of the wins along the way. If your resolution is designed to get you out of bad habit or something you are unhappy with it will be easy to get discouraged when it isn’t going as expected. Write your successes down somewhere that you can look through easily and remind yourself of your accomplishments – no matter how small they might seem. After all, resolutions are about making your life better, so why not focus on the positive?

Wishing everyone a happy and healthy New Year!

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