How to find and keep the right New Year’s resolution

Photo: WKRN

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – New Year’s resolutions can get a bad name with all those midnight thoughts that are never fulfilled, so we offer some sobering words about self-promises that might actually work and why.

Maria Mendez has kept her New Year’s resolution for two years now.

Almost-everyday workouts make her hungry to keep a special diet that fights a family medical condition.

“On my mother’s side, everyone is type 2 diabetes,” she told News 2.

Those who know say Maria may be a model for keeping New Year’s resolutions: Have one goal. Don’t try too much.

“Keep on until your body says stop; don’t overdo it,” says Brentwood Y fitness director Stephen Delahoussay. “Sometimes a lifestyle change is a long process. It’s going to take multiple weeks and it’s going to take some obstacles. You are going to have to get through it.”

Along with workouts and food, money matters are another favorite resolution. These are things like saving for that house, a child’s education, or even retirement.

Resolution keepers say the same theories about food are fit for your finances: Don’t bite off too much at first.

“What can you not miss?” asks Fifth Third Bank Vice President Bob Gerard. “Is it 20 dollars a paycheck? Fifty dollars a paycheck? Start very basic and very simple and very easy.”

Gerard urges you to figure out the “why” and then resolutions get easier.

“What is going to carry you through for the whole year is the why,” Gerard says in asking another question. “Do you want to have more savings? Do you want to get your expenses in line?”

If you’re not buying all that from the money men or women, how about a life coach?

“Lots of times, we set up expectations with resolutions that forget who we are,” says Kerry Loy, who works as a life coach at the behavioral group called Centerstone.

She told us about a concept buzzing about in therapy circles called learned optimism. Loy says it helps us from focusing on the negative.

“So when we shift our thinking to learned optimism, we are going to start looking for points and places where we are having success,” explained Loy. “And when we find even those baby steps, we are going to build, start to celebrate and in doing so gain momentum.”

So forget those resolutions made in the waning hours of one year.

Think of what you can do in the next 12 months.

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