person writing down new year's resolutions

In the excitement of the New Year, it can be easy to get roped in to creating New Year’s Resolutions that may be overwhelming to achieve. This year, I want to get in shape, or I want to eat healthy are common resolutions that, with effort, can be achievable. But in order to meet your resolutions, you’ll need to make goals that are not only realistic, but work for you and your lifestyle.


Of course, true goals adapt and transform over time. The best New Year’s Resolutions are resolutions that don’t require you to make major character changes within a rigid timeline of one month. There is a greater chance you’ll stick with your goals when you practice humility and understand that success doesn’t happen overnight.


Below we’ve compiled some ways to rethink your resolutions into smart, doable goals.


Stay on Track With Your New Year’s Resolutions


Set Realistic Expectations


Focus on creating resolutions that you believe you can keep. Expecting to eat healthier for each meal is unrealistic (at the beginning), but choosing to replace a heavy breakfast with a healthier option, like whole-grain oatmeal, is something you can achieve -- and feel good about for the rest of the day. Over time, as you see the benefit of switching out your breakfast, you can begin replacing an unhealthy lunch with better, healthier options.


Create Measurable Goals


The best goals are the ones you can track. Wanting to lose weight for better health is a great goal, but when do you know you’ve achieved it? Set a New Year’s Resolution that is dependent on time, amount, or location.


For example, instead of saying, “I’d like to renovate my living room this year,” say, “I’d like to have the walls painted by February, and new floors picked out by May.” By setting goals that require a time constraint, February and May in this example, you can easily look back to see if you’ve met your goal. This way, you can reflect on what you’ve accomplished and set metrics for future goals.




For larger goals, like quitting smoking or weight loss, investing in a support group, whether online or in person, will encourage you to stick with your resolutions. A support group can serve as a sounding board for your frustrations -- and your successes.


Of course, if support groups intimidate you, connecting with family and friends is a great option, as well. Although they might not understand your situation as well as a support group, they can hold you accountable if you stray from your resolutions.


Practice Humility


No matter what resolutions you set, it’s important to understand that you’re human and will experience hiccups throughout your journey. Perfection is unattainable, and missteps along the way are not only normal but expected. Instead of beating yourself up, use your frustrations to resolve your mistakes and get back on track.


Overall, understand that no one is perfect, and each day is an opportunity to start anew.


Start Today


Oftentimes, when we falter from our resolutions, we resolve to “start back tomorrow.” But tomorrow never comes, and we continue our bad habits. You don’t need to wait for the New Year (or a specific day or month) to begin working on a resolution or goal.


If you’re excited and eager to begin a goal, start today. You’ll surprise yourself with what you can accomplish.


UAB Medical West provides comprehensive, effective care for all life’s aches and pains. Learn more about us or give us a call at 205-481-7000 today to get started.