This Year Is My Year To…

Fill in the blank: lose weight, exercise, eat healthy, get organized, stick to a budget…we’ve all been there, done that, when it comes to making New Year’s resolutions. It’s the same story year after year: you hit the ground running in January and maybe that momentum carries you for a few weeks but by February 1, it’s back to your old ways. But this year can be different! Whatever your New Year’s resolution may be this year, there’s a right and a wrong way to approach it.

There are two reasons most resolutions fail: 1. They’re unrealistic and 2. They aren’t backed by a specific plan. How can you make and keep this year’s resolutions? This article in the New York Times lays out a specific strategy that you can follow. It’s based on the acronym SMART which stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Timebound. Let’s take a look at each piece of the strategy using a common resolution: getting In shape.

Specific: Saying “I’m going to get in shape in 2018” is very vague. But try breaking that down into something more specific like “I’m going to go to an exercise class or take a 20 minute walk 3-days-a-week.”

Measurable: Getting in shape is an abstract and subjective concept. But losing five pounds or dropping a clothing size are measurable goals. And while not always easy to achieve, they are easy to track via a scale and in your clothing.

Achievable: Breaking a resolution into manageable parts is a great way to make it more achievable. So, while losing 40 pounds might be unrealistic, losing the first five is more doable.

Relevant: Making a resolution that isn’t meaningful to you is a recipe for failure. You have to be motivated to achieve your goal for you. If you try to get in shape to please your significant other or for expectations placed on you by society, it’s bound to fail.

Timebound: 2018 is twelve months long, which is bad for those of us who relate on a personal level to Scarlett O’Hara‘s famous line “I’ll think about it tomorrow.” Even if you aren’t a natural born procrastinator like that famous Southern Belle, you’d be better off saying, “I’ll lose five pounds by Valentine’s Day.”

Following these suggestions and tips will help you ensure that 2018 is the year you finally, lose weight, eat healthy, get organized or stick to a budget.

Beyond personal resolutions, resolving to help the greater Milwaukee community is a project we can all take on. Whether it’s to support new restaurants here in town or to simply commit random acts of kindness, combining your personal resolutions with a few that help the greater good is always a great idea. The staff at local website OnMilwaukee set out to make their list of New Year’s resolutions for our fair city, including their hopes for our sports teams, downtown development and more.

Resolve to get involved in our own awesome community here at Eastcastle Place. We have so many programs and activities from which to choose.

Following these tricks will help you ensure that 2018 is the year you finally, lose weight, eat healthy, get organized or stick to a budget.