Tired of Resolutions that Fail? Tips for New Year's Resolution Success

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Tips to help you make and keep your New Year's resolutions.

Many people make New Year's resolutions, but find that they have a hard time keeping them. Is there a better way to make resolutions? Psychology experts say yes.    

Each New Year, Cynthia McKenna, therapist and owner of Cynthia McKenna Counseling and Life Coaching at http://www.cynthiamckennacounseling.com, helps individuals and couples make resolutions that they can keep by taking a holistic approach to resolution making.

According to McKenna, "Many people focus on what is 'wrong' in their lives. This kind of resolution-making is loaded with guilt, because if you don't achieve what you set out to do, you can feel a sense of failure."

McKenna encourages her clients to look at resolutions in terms of living a more balanced life, and then ask themselves what changes will make that happen. "Instead of simply focusing on getting up early to exercise or losing those 15 pounds, take this opportunity to think about the life you would like to have, and then, take steps to begin to live that life."

McKenna suggests looking at your life in broad categories such as: Physical Environment, Career, Money, Health, Relationships, Personal Growth, Fun and Recreation, Emotional Balance. These are aspects that contribute to an overall sense of well-being and also can influence emotional and physical health.

"Now you have your categories," McKenna continues, "What can you do in each area to make your life better? What qualities of a full and meaningful life do you want to include in your list? This list can include things you might not be doing yet, but that you value and want to work toward."

Taking that goal of losing 15 pounds, your list might look like this:

Physical environment    

•I keep healthful foods in the house

•I allow myself an occasional treat

•I subscribe to a health magazine

Health

•My weight is within a healthy range

•My blood pressure is lower

•I drink plenty of water to keep my body healthy

Fun & Recreation

•I use my iPod during workouts

•I invite friends to go walking with me

•I play outside with my kids

McKenna continues, "You have just taken your goal of losing 15 lbs and made it concrete. You have actions that you can see and measure. And, you are working on your goal from a variety of perspectives, rather than just focusing on the number on the scale. In starting with the big picture, you gain a vision of where you want your life to be and what steps you can take in order to make that happen. You now have some concrete feedback on what you can do to improve your life. As you begin to make changes, you will know that you are working toward your goal,"

Resolutions don't have to fail. Making small changes in a variety of areas will increase your chances for success. If you would like to obtain information about creating a balanced life, visit: http://www.cynthiamckennacounseling.com or contact Cynthia McKenna, LPC, NCC at: cm @ cynthiamckennacounseling.com

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CYNTHIA McKenna, LPC, NCC
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