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Setting realistic New Year's goals

Published: Tuesday, Dec. 31, 2013 8:44 a.m. CDT • Updated: Tuesday, Dec. 31, 2013 11:12 a.m. CDT

The New Year is a great time to set new goals for a healthier life. Too often people set unrealistic goals for themselves and give up when they have difficulty meeting unattainable standards.

The key to meeting your New Year's resolutions is to set reasonable goals and to recognize the difference between long and short-term goals. Many times we set long-term goals but expect ourselves to meet them in the short-term. 

To increase your chances of success, set short-term goals to help you get to your long-term goal. Be specific in setting your goals so you have a concrete way to measure if you have met them or not. Start with something that you know you can achieve and build on it gradually. For example, short-term goals for eating better and exercising more could include eating 3 servings of vegetables per day or walking on the treadmill 3 times per week for 10-15 minutes.  

Also, don’t set too many goals at once. Making change happen in our busy lifestyles is difficult. If we set too many goals at once, it will be nearly impossible for most of us to incorporate into our already hectic schedules. Choose 1-2 short-term goals to focus on at once to make change more feasible.

Finally, remember that small steps can lead to big changes.

Here’s to a happy and healthy New Year!

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