Magazine article American Nurse Today

Health, Safety, & Wellness: Make Your Resolutions the Smart Way

Magazine article American Nurse Today

Health, Safety, & Wellness: Make Your Resolutions the Smart Way

Article excerpt

Happy New Year! Have you made your New Year's resolution? According to the Journal of Clinical Psychology, 38% of resolutions made are weight related and 47% are other self-improvement goals. Did you know that less than 10% of the resolutions we make are successful? How can you improve the chances of your success?

First, congratulations if you made a resolution, because by identifying a goal, you increase your likelihood of success by 10 times.

Second, be sure your resolution goals (and don't make more than two) are SMART--Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timebound.

* Specific. Identify specific small steps that can lead to a bigger goal. For example, instead of saying, "I am going to lose weight," say, "I am going to eat a total of five servings of fruits and vegetables a day" or "I am not going to add sugar or salt to my food" or "I am going to cut my intake of sugary beverages by half."

* Measurable. Make it measurable, as in the examples above--"five servings" or "cut my intake by half." This helps you identify success.

* Attainable. Make sure you can reach the goal. Look at your barriers and identify how you can overcome them. Say to yourself, "I want to XXX (your goal here), but it is hard because XXX (your reason here.)" To change your perspective and determine how you can best attain your goal, change the barrier to an "AND/SO" solution. Say to yourself, "I want to XXX (your goal here), AND it is hard because XXX (your reason here), SO I am going to do XXX about it." For example, "I want to lose 10 pounds by Valentine's Day, BUT I work night shifts and I don't have any healthy options" becomes "I want to lose 10 lb by Valentine's Day, AND I work night shifts, SO I will pack a healthy meal and bring healthy snacks." This technique will help you identify and avoid barriers and temptations. …

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