New Year, New Goals

By: Nick Unger, PTA

With the New Year upon us, many people are beginning to create their list of resolutions for 2023. Some may set goals to exercise more regularly, eat less sugary foods, or get more sleep. These are all realistic resolutions at their core, but more often than not, people have trouble seeing them through. There are a few simple adjustments people can make when setting goals for themselves. This blog will go over three simple tips that can help you stick to those resolutions throughout the whole year.

1. SMART goal setting

When setting your New Year’s resolution goals let’s look at the acronym SMART: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time-bound. Consider each of these five aspect in every goal you make. Studies show that specific goals are superior to vague and abstract goals. Being able to measure your resolution can help make it easier to reach your goal. Make the goals attainable and realistic. Give yourself a period of time that you want to attain this goal, rather than leaving it open-ended.

Here is an example of someone who is not being SMART: “My goal this year is to lose weight (specific, good start!). I would like to lose 50 pounds in 1 month (measurable, but probably hard to attain, not realistic, and a very short amount of time).” This person will likely start off strong, but get frustrated and disheartened and abandon their goal.

Let’s try putting SMART into action: “My goal this year is to lose weight (specific). I would like to lose 10 pounds (measurable, attainable, and realistic). I want to try to lose the weight in 3 months (time).” This person is more likely to stick with and meet their goal, and that empowerment will likely cause them to stick with the healthy habits made and incorporate them into his or her life going forward.

2. Make a plan and track your progress

Planning ahead can be the key to a successful goal. Get a calendar. Use an app. Make a note on old-fashioned pen and paper and stick it on your fridge! There are so many ways to keep yourself accountable!

3. Have a support group

No matter how motivated an individual may be heading into the New Year with their resolutions, there are most likely going to be some obstacles along the way. Being able to have someone to lean on when these obstacles occur is critical. Whether it is your spouse, a friend, a coworker, or even a mental health professional, find someone who can help give you the extra boost to follow through. Let them know your goals so they can keep you motivated!

And remember: it is going to take time to make a change in your life, but make 2023 your year!

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The Cooperman Barnabas Medical Center Rehabilitation centers are open and ready to help you achieve your goals. With four locations in West Orange, Millburn and Livingston, the experienced and compassionate staff at Cooperman Barnabas Rehabilitation offers adults and children the specialized care they need to resume an active life after surgery, injury or illness. They are committed to providing patients with the most advanced services in a safe, caring and soothing environment. For high-risk patients who are unable to visit in person, telehealth is an option. Patients do not need a prescription for physical therapy services.

References:

“Making Your New Year's Resolution Stick.” American Psychological Association, American Psychological Association, 2 Nov. 2022, https://www.apa.org/topics/behavioral-health/new-year-resolutions.

Oscarsson, Martin, et al. “A Large-Scale Experiment on New Year’s Resolutions: Approach-Oriented Goals Are More Successful than Avoidance-Oriented Goals.” PLOS ONE, vol. 15, no. 12, 2020, https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0234097.