Have you started thinking about your New Year’s resolution yet?  Are you even making a New Year’s resolution?  If your answer is “Absolutely, this is the year I am going to lose weight!” you have a lot of company.  About half (45%) of us like to start off the New Year with a plan for self-improvement, and healthy lifestyle goals such as weight loss top the list.

Unfortunately, less than 10% of the folks who make New Year’s resolutions actually succeed in keeping them.  With such a low success rate, you might think “Well, what’s the point of even making a New Year’s resolution?”  How about this for a little incentive: people who make resolutions are 10 times more likely to see positive life changes than people who do not.

That’s not surprising if you think about it.  Saying “I’m making a resolution” is simply a fancier way of saying “I’m setting a goal”.  And, people who set specific goals tend to have better success than people who do not.

Maybe you’re thinking “but, I’ve never been able to stick to a New Year’s resolution.” Welcome to the (crowded) club!  Fitness centers across the country are bursting with new members in January and empty once again by March.  But, that doesn’t mean you’ve failed and shouldn’t try again.  It just means you’ve gained a better insight into what did, and did not, work in your last plan.  Or, maybe that’s the problem – you set a goal but forgot to make the plan to achieve it.

Too often we abandon our resolution in the early stages and then beat ourselves up for lack of motivation, or not having enough willpower.  But what we really need is not more willpower to achieve our goal – we simply need a plan to help us along the way.  Don’t just declare your resolution, sit down and make a plan, with actionable steps and clearly measurable points of progress.

Whatever your personal self improvement goal might be, making a New Year’s resolution can be a great first step in achieving it.  You’ve got six weeks…ready, set, PLAN!

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Yolonda Mays
Yolonda Mays is a Navy veteran, University of Tennessee alumnus, former lifestyle coach and self-proclaimed foodie. She currently works in food service management and spends most of her days obsessing over the price of avocados. You can check out Yolonda's blog at kitchenyolonda.com where she writes about everything from budgeting to the relationship between nutrition and emotional health.