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This month, we focus on a more sustainable approach to New Year’s resolutions.

Mālama Ola Minute: Setting achievable New Year’s goals that stick

Jan. 3, 2024

There is something about the new year that ignites a wonderful sense of hope and endless opportunities, especially when it comes to our health and well-being. To some, the saying “new year, new me” might seem like a meaningless cliche but what if we took a more sustainable approach to New Year’s resolutions, ensuring they bring us lasting benefits?

Experts say goal setting should involve things you look forward to accomplishing, which in turn will help motivate you to keep going. They should bring you joy and make you feel good about what you are doing for yourself. Tried and true methods include SMART goal-setting (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound) and those spelled out in the bestseller some may already have read in “Atomic Habits” by James Clear. But if these leave you feeling overwhelmed, here are some tips and reminders that can help you get started:

  1. Set goals that are achievable!
    Goals take a lot of dedicated time and energy, so set yourself up for success by breaking them into smaller, manageable steps with realistic timelines. For instance, if shedding some pounds is the goal, breaking it down into smaller victories like daily step counts or weekend meal prep can put you on the path to bigger victories.

    Consider techniques like habit stacking or gamifying your goals! Set up a digital vision board on Pinterest or a goals bingo card, rewarding yourself whenever you get five in a row. By aligning your objectives with your lifestyle and routines, you will set yourself up with a system for success.

  2. Set goals that are positive!
    Remember, patience is key. Don’t be so hard on yourself if things are not going as quickly or as smoothly as you would like. Say you were too tired to journal last night or life got too busy for you to meditate–it’s okay. Every day brings a fresh chance to pursue your aspirations.

    Besides, goals are supposed to be achievements, not another burden. Remember why you are doing it!

  3. Set goals as a family!
    What better way to find support and accountability than to set goals as a family! It can be a fantastic way to get to know each other better while also establishing values that unify your ʻohana. Whether it is staying off your phones during dinner or exploring a new hobby, achieving together can create lasting memories.

As we step into 2024, let us focus on positive intentions and personal growth. Here are some links for more information to support your journey towards a healthier, happier you:

Eight ways parents can set the stage to achieve their goals this year
Five facts about goal setting
Nemours Teen Health

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