Resolutions: Aim for Progress, Not Perfection, in 2019

Health
"Progress not perfection" means setting goals that are achievable, and perhaps slightly less ambitious than trying to completely remake yourself for the New Year. Photo Credit: mppllc/Twenty20

Antionette Kerr
Public News Service

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The statistics are grim – only one or two out of every 10 people who make New Year’s resolutions will achieve them, and the rest are likely to fizzle by February.

Experts say the biggest hurdles are related to setting unrealistic goals – trying to change too much, too fast.

Psychotherapist Gail Rogers recommends small changes, such as meditation, or deciding on specific ways to enjoy family and lower overall stress.

Rogers says it’s important to set realistic expectations and make a daily choice to meet your new goals.

“And the choice is, ‘How am I going to live my life?’” she stresses. “Well, I choose to live my life fully, with joy, looking forward to the next day, looking forward to being in this day. Or I could choose just to feel miserable and give up – but it’s choice.”

Joint research from Cornell University and the University of Chicago also found that in making resolutions, including weight loss and job promotions, most people are motivated either by immediate or short-term rewards.

So Rogers says it’s important to celebrate each positive step along the path to meeting your goal.

Eating better, exercising more, spending less money and making self-care a bigger priority all rank highly in recent polling about 2019 resolutions from You.gov.

But Rogers says resolutions also are good for people seeking to be more intentional about their lifestyle.

“Being more mindful of how I am living – I’m not just on automatic pilot,” she explains. “I am in the present moment, because that’s where everything is.”

Rogers says another key to keeping resolutions is to trust yourself.

Multiple studies show it takes at least three weeks for most folks to incorporate a new routine into their lives, and about two months to truly break an old habit.

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