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Ask the Experts

Keeping your New Year's resolutions

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Ask the Experts
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Q: My New Year’s resolutions always seem to drop off by March. What can I do to stick with them this year?

A: The New Year offers an exciting opportunity to reflect on our lives and make plans for ways that we want to grow and change in the future. While many start off by making resolutions, it may astound you to know that about 78 percent of Canadians fail to keep them.

What is it that makes these changes difficult to maintain? It is unlikely that you are not capable of making these changes in the long term, but it could be that the desired changes are too large or unrealistic.

Goal setting can help you on your way to success. Use a framework like SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely) to get started. The strength of this framework is that it helps you clearly set out what you want to accomplish and the steps that you are going to take to get there.

It can be helpful to set both short- and long-term goals to get you through each step of the process. Remember that your goals can be adapted if needed. Be flexible with your expectations while still working toward the end target. Also remember to reward your successes! This can help you to stay on track and motivated.

Resolution or not, take this transition into 2016 as a time for reflection and recharging. No matter what your intention is for the year, remember to be kind to yourself. Set yourself up for success and honour the ebbs and flows of the year to come. You’ll thank yourself in the end!

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