Set goals to succeed with New Year’s resolutions, says expert

Whether it’s dropping that awful habit of complaining or vowing to become more organized, with a new calendar year comes the inevitable resolutions.

People do it primarily because “they’re not happy with the way that things are with themselves, or with things around them, and they want to create change,” said Toronto-based therapist and author Sara Dimerman.

Another reason is tradition.

“Everyone’s doing it and so you feel like you’d be going against what’s typical by not creating a New Year’s resolution,” she said.

Losing weight and quitting smoking are the two most common resolutions Dimerman hears.

“December 31, you eat everything in sight, because Jan. 1 you’re going to go on a big diet,” she said.

In theory, every morning could be a fresh start, but people often see Jan. 1 as an opportunity to “wipe the old slate clean,” said Dimerman.

She recommends setting goals over resolutions, since they’re easier to manage.

“They could be personal goals, family goals, career goals, and I think if you have a few, then it might be more sustainable,” said Dimerman.

She suggests writing down goals with family or friends on Dec. 31, sealing them in an envelope, then looking at the goals a year later to see if you’ve been successful.

For folks who shun the annual tradition, “either it says they’re incredibly happy with everything in their lives and they don’t need to resolve to change anything, or it says that they’re kind of non-conformist and go against the grain,” said Dimerman.

Or they’ve continued resolving to shed 10 lbs. and just keep buying bigger pants.

Twitter: @ottawasunkroche


1. Take time for oneself.

2. Make time for others.

3. Clear the clutter.

4. Spend wisely.

5. Floss every day

6. Don’t fall behind.

7. Face fears.

8. Better oneself.

9. Appreciate family.

10. Give thanks and stay positive.


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