Stay Committed to Your Resolutions and Goals

by karen on January 10, 2019

Here’s a statistic we want to avoid being a part of: 50% of those who’ve made New Year’s resolutions fail by February—one study sets that number even higher at 80%. Arrggh! 50-80% of us can barely get started! I can’t help but believe that a lot of that failure is due to the lack of having a realistic plan. We can do all the “wanting” in the world, but to manifest that desire into having our goals involves more than just saying “I will (blank)”. Wishes are not resolutions.

I hope you’re one of the two to five people out of the average ten who are still working on your goals in the 2nd week of the New Year. If not, simply start again and use these tips to get back on track and increase your odds of being successful achieving your goals for 2019.

Be In The Moment

We are very much creatures who are driven by instant gratification. When we eat, we are instantly gratified by the taste of that food, the sense of fullness, and by the internal chemical changes that occur to promote a sense of wellbeing. Set up your goals to try to provide that sense of instant gratification.


Goal: Exercise 3 days per week in gym after work.

Plan: Remember the feeling of finishing your workout and walking out the door as your motivator. Every time you start to come up with an excuse to not to exercise (“I’m too tired”, “I have too much to do after work”, “I’ll go tomorrow”), use your motivating reminder of how good it feels when you’ve to get you to the gym. The work is downhill once you’re there.

Goal: Limit sweets to 2 per week.

Plan: Make a list of other healthy and satisfying snacks you like, stock your kitchen and enjoy that snack when you have it.

Goal: Eat vegetables 1-2 times daily. Find new recipes to increase the variety of ways they can be consumed, helping you look forward to eating them.

Enlist Help

It usually takes a village, and even if we can accomplish our goals on our own, it’s often more fun and less stressful to involve others.  The rewards of having other people involved are many:

  • Support
  • Accountability
  • Camaraderie
  • Sharing of workload
  • Help with challenges

Surround yourself with people who are like-minded in their goals, who are positive and help you stay motivated. Be specific with how your helpers can be of assistance, like making dinner the nights you’re going to the gym and not eating sweets in front of you.

Reward Yourself

Most of our goals require time to achieve, and that goes against our need for immediate gratification. We get frustrated that we’re not seeing instant results and that wears away at our resolve. We become less consistent with working towards our goals and before we know it, we’re no longer making progress toward them. Giving ourselves rewards along the way can help us stay the course for the time required.

Avoiding food-oriented rewards, as always, rewards can really be anything that will maintain your commitment to yourself:

  • If your goal is to lose weight, put $5 in a jar with every pound lost. Who better to give money to than yourself?  Watch that jar fill up or spend it along the way, with the express reason of acknowledging and rewarding your progress.
  • See a movie each week you meet your exercise goal.
  • Book a weekend get-away when you’ve met your goals for two months
  • Call a friend to share in your successes

Stay at your goals, taking into account that you’re looking at making lasting changes, bask in the present, surround yourself with support, and celebrate along the way. Before you know it, you’ll be at your destination.


Karen Fisher, MS, RD, LDN, CDE is a dietitian in Reno, Nevada, happily promoting the benefits of healthy foods at her nutrition consulting firm, Nutrition Connection. Find her website at

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