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Experts weigh in on how to create and maintain your New Year's resolutions

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Posted at 6:34 PM, Dec 29, 2022
and last updated 2022-12-29 22:47:32-05

With just days before 2023, you’re probably thinking about and writing down your goals for the new year, but before you write them down and put them away for the rest of the year, consider these tips from experts.

The new year for many people is an opportunity to start fresh — setting new goals and milestones we want to achieve in the coming year — but it’s not always so easy.

“It’s realistic for me, which is the most important part. We want to set ourselves up for success and so in order to do that we need to make sure we can reach our goals," said Breana Martinez, San Luis Obispo County Behavioral Health Clinician.

Martinez said when thinking about New Year’s resolutions, you want them to be "SMART": specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-bound.

“For example, if my goal for myself is to exercise more, it’s hard to really know what that means so we want to break that down. Okay, I want to go to the gym twice a week after work. That’s specific and I can measure it," Martinez added.

Having a way to measure a goal can help you figure out what worked and what didn’t work, allowing for changes.

“It’s important to have grace for ourselves, be patient with ourselves, and also evaluate whether is this the right time for us to be making our goals," Martinez said.

If starting to go to the gym or going more often is your goal, Cole Corrigan, owner of CCC Fitness gym in San Luis Obispo, said the biggest obstacle is breaking down old habits.

“The average people stick six months, After six months, that’s when things start to dwindle down. If you in your mind can conceive six months before you get started, that’s going to be your best bet, yeah I can do that," Corrigan said.

Something else that can help you maintain the goals you set is a written reminder placed somewhere you’ll see every day.

“It’s really looking at what you want in your life and putting it into a visual aid and of course, if you’re looking at that on a daily basis, you’re less likely to do the things that are steering you away from it," Corrigan explained.

And experts say to remember to acknowledge your wins, even if they are small.