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Realistic goals for New Year’s resolutions

Whitney Coy is a freelance writer and editor based in Columbus, OH, where she lives with her husband and two daughters. She writes frequently for SheKnows, as well as several other websites. She writes on topics including parenting, trav...

Set a goal you can keep

The whole point of a New Year’s resolution is to start the year with a positive outlook and the hope for a better you. When you set goals that you can’t reach, the opposite tends to happen. Set realistic goals for yourself this year by following these tips.

creating realistic resolutions

Don't go it alone

Find a friend with a similar goal and resolve to work toward it together. If you're looking to lose weight, then be workout buddies or have weekly weigh-ins. If you're hoping to save money, quit smoking or find a better job, you can motivate each other and share ideas. Most of life's challenges become less daunting when you aren't in them alone; working with a friend to reach your goal may mean the difference between success and failure.

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Focus on something positive

Don't use your New Year's resolution to take something away from yourself. Instead, use it to put a positive spin on the changes you want to make. Instead of setting a goal to stop eating sweets, resolve to start eating healthier. Don't promise to never yell at your kids again (you know that will never happen!). Instead, set a goal to find a healthier way to discipline. Easing into these positive changes is a lot easier than doing a complete about-face once Jan. 1 arrives.

Get help

If you're setting a big goal, find someone to help you along the way. Want to lose weight? Hire a personal trainer. Want to find a new job? Visit a career counselor. A professional who is trained to help you meet your goals will have an arsenal of tools to get you where you want to be. If you can't afford a professional, look for websites or support groups to help you meet your goals.

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Take baby steps

Forget about losing 100 pounds or saving enough cash to buy a house. When you make goals that are unreachable, you set yourself up to fail. Instead, set small goals that you know you can reach. If you succeed, you can just keep going, and you'll feel great about accomplishing your goal.

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More help setting goals

Jumpstart your resolution
30-Day guide to reaching your goals

How to keep New Year's resolutions

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