How to Keep Your New Year's Resolutions

Ridge Merino Happy New Year

Experts agree: the more specific you can be with your resolutions, the more likely you'll be able to keep them. Instead of making lofty declarations that may not be achievable, consider narrowing in to focus on measurable goals. Below are a few examples of how to be more specific.

1. Going broad: "I'm going to live a sustainable lifestyle."
Thanks to the plastic bag ban, we're now using reusable containers when we go to the market. There's increased awareness about where our food comes from and how it's produced. There's a preference for organic, whole foods and a groundswell of support for local farmers. Now, it's time to think beyond the bag. Beyond food. Look at your clothes. Where do they come from? Does the company that makes them value sustainability? Are the materials they use natural, biodegradable, or made from recycled materials? Instead of broadly declaring you'll change your entire lifestyle to become more sustainable, narrow in and say, "I resolve to do away with harmful synthetic clothing and instead will support brands that believe in environmentally sustainable efforts and materials."

2. Going broad: "I'm going to be more active this year."
Isn't this on everyone's list? Without a more focused intent, you're almost certain to fail on some level. Try to get more specific by stating, "I'm going to take up a new outdoor hobby this year." Even in the winter, with the right clothing, you can stay safe and warm outdoors. Why not try your hand at uphill skiing? (Yes, that's a thing.) How many other great outdoor adventures await? Get outside and explore!

3. Going broad: "I'm going to eat healthier this year."
Great resolution. Seriously. But again, without defining how you are planning to do that, you could be setting yourself up to fail. Instead maybe say, "I'm going to break up with sugar... starting with eliminating juices and soda from my diet for one year." Sugar: that ubiquitous - and often unnecessary - additive that creeps into almost everything we consume is linked to serious issues such as diabetes and obesity. Eliminating it from your diet could be the start to a healthier, happier new you.

With resolutions, as in life, staying focused is the key to success!

Best wishes for a safe, happy and healthy 2017!


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