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6 Tips for Achieving Healthy and Happy New Year's Resolutions

Posted on January 2, 2015 at 9:55 AM

1. Pick a goal that is intrinsically motivated

• Intrinsic goals can be defined as goals that are “inherently satisfying and meaningful to you.”

• A goal that is intrinsically motivated fosters emotional growth and self-actualization.

• Results from various psychological studies suggest that people pursuing intrinsically motivated goals are happier and experience more pleasure during the pursuit of their goals.

2. Choose approach rather than avoidance goals

• Studies suggest that people have more success when they are approaching a desirable outcome rather than avoiding a negative outcome.

• Example: If one would like to be healthier in the new year

i. Approach goal: I will increase my vegetable, lean protein and fruit intake.

ii. Avoidance goal: I will stop eating so much junk food.

3. Select goals that are harmonious and compatible with the rest of your life.

4. Make your goals specific and time limited

• The more specific your goals are the easier it is to measure progress and attainment.

• Examples:

i. Vague goal: I want to be a better aunt.

ii. Specific goal: I want to spend time with my niece at least 3x’s a month. I will start this next Monday.

5. Design intermediate goals

• Where do you want to be in 3 months? 6 months?

• Intermediate goals will help keep you on track and will provide you with validation.

6. Social Support

• Tell friends and family about your resolution ideas.

• Letting others know about your resolutions makes you more accountable.

• Encouragement from friends and family is often instrumental in keeping one motivated while pursuing long term goals.

If you or someone you know has a New Year’s resolution(s) that they would like support with following through on call Dr. Ackrish today for a FREE phone consultation.

Check out these resources for more information on setting and achieving healthy New Year’s resolutions:

• Read The How of Happiness by Sonia Lyubomirsky (Chapter 8 Committing to your goals)

I wish you all a very happy and healthy 2015!

~Dr. Jennifer Ackrish


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