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Keeping Your New Year's Resolutions

January 1, 2014, 10:05 PM by Brittany Larson

Keeping Your New Year's Resolutions

Along with celebration, a new year symbolizes a new beginning, and a promise to improve ourselves.

"I think it's important to have a goal you know, the New Year a new start and a new calendar," Sioux Falls resident, Glenn Williamson said.

While some people say they don't bother making a New Year's resolution, many of us still do.  

"My New Year's resolutions would be to stick to the plans that I have in place, professional, socially as well as spiritually and physically too," Williamson said.

Around 40 percent of Americans will set some sort of long-term goal for 2014.

"People put a lot of pressure on themselves in the beginning of the year," Clinical Psychologist for Sanford Health, Sarah Konrady said.

Nichole Huchtmeier admits she hasn't always been successful at keeping her resolutions in years past.

"One year, mine was to drink more water and that ended when my water bottle froze in my car and it exploded. That was the end of that," Nichole Huchtmeier said.

But this year she says will be different.

"My News Year's resolution is to just suspend my judgments of people and just get to know them and just enjoy their presence," Huchtmeier said.  

It's a unique goal and she says it involves ignoring stereotypes and breaking down certain barriers. 

"I think we have a lot to learn from all the people around us, and especially in Sioux Falls we have a lot of diversity and a lot of people from different walks of life. There are so many opportunities with just talking to people," Huchtmeier said.

Studies show, more common resolutions tend to be weight loss followed by improving finances, exercising more and to quit smoking. However, keeping your resolutions is easier said than done.

"I don't think I am unique in this regard but I tend to make them a little too lofty," Williamson said.

Experts say it's best to be realistic when setting our goals.

"Choosing small obtainable goals is the best bet to making lasting changes," Konrady said.

So why is it so hard for us to accomplish our goals for the New Year? 

"If you choose one large goal that isn't as achievable you're going to set yourself up for failure," Konrady said. "Choose something small to start with and then build on your success and get some motivation going that way."

The same study conducted by the University of Scranton found people tend to keep their resolution for two weeks. After that the success rate drops.

"You can't change your entire self in one year so look at aspects of your life and then kind of rate them. Is this where I am feeling the most unhappiness and if so I'm going to address this issue first. For a lot of people it's smoking, or weight loss, or lack of exercise, those are the big ones," Konrady said.

By six months more than half of the people with resolutions go back to their old habits. Experts say think about the big picture.

"If you're goal is January 1st I'm going to lose 15 pounds by February 1st and then you find on February 1st that you lost five pounds that's success so realizing that you want a lifestyle change and not just a quick fix," Konrady said.

And if you get off track don't give up.

"As long as the overall goal is to move forward and if you have one step back once in awhile it's okay, if the overall pattern is improvement," Konrady said.

"A new year and a new beginning, that's always a good idea," Williamson said.

And good reminder for those who desire a change that nothing is out of reach if you have a plan that will help you succeed.

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