Getting those New Year's resolutions to stick

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Sunday, January 1, 2017

NORTH PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- We've all made them - New Year's resolutions.

And we've probably broken most of them - perhaps before the first week of the new year is done.

Gym operators know it well. Most of January's new members will be no-shows by Super Bowl weekend.

Some people have given up making resolutions entirely.

Frank Farley, Ph.D., the L.H.Carnell Professor of Psychological Studies at Temple University, says we shouldn't give up.

But we need a framework to support us, rather than setting ourselves up for failure.

He calls his plan R E S O L V E:

R= REALISTIC goals. Few in number, very specific and simple. Small steps that you can accomplish.

Build a new habit. Eg, no fries for 2 months. Stick to it, and a habit can form.

E= EVALUATE your progress. Keep track of how you're doing. Do regular "Resolution Check-Ups"

S= SHARE your plans and progress with family and friends. Give them buy-in to what you are doing. Get support for your plans and progress.

STEREOTYPES, avoid them. For example, "I'm too set in my ways to do that", or, "I'm too old for that," etc.

O= OPTIMISM, a can-do attitude. If you're pessimistic to start with, then change won't happen.

L= LISTS. Develop a clear, organized system of WHAT you are going to do, WHERE and WHEN you are going to do it.

V= VALUE what you are doing. Take it seriously.

Give your resolutions priority, and reward yourself as needed (Intrinsic reward= feel good about your progress; Extrinsic reward=take yourself and those you have shared this journey with out to dinner to celebrate).

E= EMBRACE change. Learn to thrive through changing things in your life. We are in a century of enormous change. Be part of it in your own life. Motivate!!

Learn from the guru of evolution and change, Charles Darwin, who said "It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the ones MOST RESPONSIVE


That can apply to individuals as well as species! Get To It!!