Realistic Resolutions - Genesis Health System

Published on January 05, 2012

Start Anew With Resolutions

Maybe you've already been sidetracked from the New Year's resolutions or maybe you didn't set any.

It's not too late. According to Dr. Steve Kopp, psychologist with Genesis Psychology Associates, there are benefits and rewards for resolving to improve something about your life.

Dr. Kopp suggests these tips for setting achievable New Year's resolutions:

* Get real. Dr. Kopp says, "In setting attainable New Year's resolutions,  make your goals realistic. Realistic goals allow us to experience the reinforcement of progress and the expectation of achievement. When goals are too ambitious or unreasonable, we quickly feel overwhelmed, hopeless and defeated, which leads to quitting.''

* Think short term and long term. Dr. Kopp says, "Set both short term and long term objectives. These goals should be measurable and objective. That is important because it gives us something to push for. It provides us feedback when your methods are not working, and it makes us feel accomplished when we meet our short term objectives.''

* Set active goals. Dr. Kopp says, "Instead of saying 'I'm not going to eat so much junk food this year,' you might tell yourself, 'I am going to eat healthier by choosing fruits and vegetables when I snack.' And, take that goal to the grocery store. Don't tempt yourself with poor alternatives. Buy healthy alternatives that support your goals."

* Shout it out. Dr. Kopp says, "Most of all, be proud of the changes you are making. Tell people about your resolution. This creates accountability and develops support from others for achieving your goals. Expect occasional relapses and learn from them. When you feel weak or consider giving in, utilize your friends and family to keep you going."

You won't be alone with your resolutions. It is estimated that 40 to 45% of American adults make one or more resolutions each year. Among the top New Year's resolutions are resolutions about weight loss, exercise, and smoking cessation.

While a lot of people who make new years resolutions do break them, research shows that making resolutions is useful.

If your resolutions include controlling your weight or quitting smoking,  Genesis has programs to help. 

For weight management, call the Genesis Center for Weight Management at (563) 421-8361, or go to For smoking cessation, call 421-1769.

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