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The New Year is around the corner and with the New Year comes New Year’s Resolutions. Many people use this time to declare resolutions or goals; however, for many people, the resolutions and the excitement that comes with them go to the wayside after the second week of January. It is possible to succeed at your New Year’s resolutions. Here are some tips to guide you.

Take the Pressure Off

For many, New Year’s Day represents a new beginning and a new opportunity for self-improvement. However be gentle with yourself. It is really just another day. Perhaps it’s not the goal but the process or plan that didn’t work for you in the past. Don’t give up. Keep focused and use positive language to motivate your actions. If your goal is to lose weight this year, think about the way you feel after a great work out and focus less on the number on the scale.

Get Serious about Your Goals

A resolution without a plan of action is simply just a resolution that you will never fulfill. This may require writing your resolutions down, an important first step. After you’ve written your goals down, set a deadline. Are you trying to improve your public speaking because you are hosting a major event this year? Are you training for a half marathon? Set a deadline to keep you motivated.

Be Realistic

You may have many goals in mind for the New Year but instead of making a long list of 20 goals, stick to one. When you choose one goal and make it realistic, it will be easier to stick to. Ask yourself: Does your resolution fit in with your current lifestyle, work and family schedule? If it doesn’t, what lifestyle shift are you willing to implement to make it work? If your resolution is to have more family time in the evenings, are you willing to turn off your electronic devices or to shift your work schedule so that you can make it home earlier in the evenings?

Take Small Steps

Now that you’ve made your resolution easier to stick with, break your goal down into small, achievable chunks. To go from 0 to 100 is easier said than done. If you decide that you will work out more in the New Year, start with a reasonable plan. For example, instead of committing to work out for 2 hours, 5 days a week, try committing to 30 minutes twice a week and be specific with the type of work out. For example, begin with 30 minutes of cardio including a 5 minute warm up and a 5 minute cool down at a low intensity. If your goal is to lose weight and you don’t know how to cook, a goal for this year could be to learn how to cook a few key healthy meals or to pack a lunch instead of eating out on a daily basis.

Seek Professional Help

Another way to solidify your success with your resolution is to hire some help, if you can afford it. If you’ve decided that you’d like to be more positive in the New Year, hire a psychotherapist to help you. Or if you’ve decided to get to the gym more, hire a personal trainer. If it’s not in the budget to hire anyone, the library is free and if you have a smart phone you can investigate some apps and reputable websites to help keep you on track.

Form a Support Network

You may have friends, colleagues or loved ones who have achieved a particular goal on your list this year. Share your resolution with someone you are close to in your network. This doesn’t mean that you should broadcast your resolutions over social media, however, the chosen few people in your corner will help keep you accountable and may offer up some sage advice.

This New Year try a balanced approach to your resolutions. Take it one day and one goal at a time and remember that New Year’s Day is just another day. If there is something that you’ve been meaning to do for a long time, take the pressure off and make your first move today.

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Dr. Olivia Rose
About the Author

Dr. Olivia Rose graduated from the University of Guelph with a Bachelor of Science Honours degree in Nutritional and Nutraceutical Sciences and in 2006, she graduated from the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine.

In addition to her private practice, Dr. Rose is the director of Fertility Acupuncture Services, a mobile service that brings acupuncture to couples undergoing in vitro fertilization and intrauterine insemination at Toronto fertility clinics. Her special areas of interest include infertility; children and teen health; stress management; weight loss; heart disease; digestive and immune health; skin rejuvenation and pain management. She is a birth doula and has additional training in cosmetic acupuncture and needle-less therapies for skin rejuvenation and joint pain.

Dr. Rose is a sought-after lecturer for community organizations; a freelance writer and mentor to new graduates. She has been interviewed by various media outlets including Global Toronto’s, “The Morning Show”, “News at Noon” and “News Hour”. In her free time, she unplugs at the spa and she enjoys spending quality time with her husband, son and tea-cup Yorkie. For more information on Dr. Rose's practice and special events, please visit - www.oroseND.com