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Natural Awakenings Lehigh Valley

My Thoughts for the Month- January 2024

Dec 29, 2023 04:56PM ● By Dr. Rodger ND, MBS

It feels like the same story every year, the ball drops on New Year’s Eve, and everyone begins the new year eager to get started on their goals. Most of us start strong and there is a reason why the gymnasiums are always so crowded the first week of January, but the majority of us lose steam before the month is even over!

Why is that? Why do so many people (by some accounts, as many as 80% to 90%) lose their enthusiasm for their New Year’s resolutions and fail to see improvement by the time the next year rolls around? There have been many studies about this topic, with most experts concluding that the root cause of “resolution failure” stems from poorly planned goals. In other words, most of us just throw out a vague declaration, like “I want to lose weight” instead of “I’m going to lose 3 lbs in January, or “I want to save money” without identifying how much we want to save. You must be specific about your goal setting. 

The result of such poor planning, of course, is that enthusiasm tends to fade rather quickly. Instead of working toward a pre-determined end result, we end up spinning our wheels and trying to decide what to do instead of doing it. When the results don’t happen quickly, it’s just so easy to slide back into old patterns and forget about the goal altogether.

Setting goals helps trigger new behaviors, helps guide your focus, and helps you sustain that momentum in life. Goals also help align your focus and promote a sense of self-mastery. In the end, you can't manage what you don't measure, and you can't improve upon something that you don't properly manage.

Since waning enthusiasm is only natural, it’s important to find other ways to stay on track, throughout the new year. Try adding these 2 strategies to your repertoire and experience better results.

Get Help from Others
Studies show that people who are trying to make a change, whether it’s losing weight, quitting smoking, starting up, or expanding a business, are more successful when they have another person who holds them accountable for their goals. It helps people become more successful when they have a support system in place.

Determine Milestones
Another common reason resolutions fail is that results aren’t always immediately apparent.  In some cases, even though things are changing, they happen so subtly that they may be hard to notice. Therefore, setting intermediate milestones along the way to your goal can keep you motivated. For example, if you are trying to lose 60 pounds, reward yourself after every 15 pounds, or after you meet your workout goals for an entire month. By recognizing your achievements, you’ll want to keep going.

Many experts instead recommend setting goals or intentions for the new year. Regardless of what we call it, maintaining enthusiasm is key to staying on track. 

Use the techniques that work for you and make this year the one when you finally reach your goals!

Here’s wishing everyone a Happy, Healthy, and Goal Achievements New Year

Dr. Deka Rodger ND, MBA

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