Keep that resolution alive

ff_admin
Farm Forum

A month has gone by since the start of the New Year. Did you make a New Year’s resolution? Have you kept it alive? Many goals or resolutions die quickly. But, if it is important to you, there are strategies to help keep it alive. It does not matter if it was to budget, or to diet, these strategies will still work.

The first is to expect obstacles; recognize that of course you will face challenges along the way! This strategy has two big benefits:

1. You won’t immediately give up when something goes wrong. If you’re mentally prepared, then the occasional setback will simply be part of the process… you knew it was coming, and it came. So now you can go on.

2. You can anticipate some possible obstacles and either avoid them or prepare for them. Example: if you know that hanging out with certain friends often results in you spending more than you intended to, then make a point to leave your plastic at home when you’re with them.

This leads to another important strategy for sticking to your goal: control your environment. Avoid things that will lead you astray. Shopping related examples:

1. Stay away from the mall or tempting stores when possible;

2. Control how much money have available when shopping;

3. Block or avoid certain websites if you tend to overspend on-line;

4. In tempting situations, have someone with you who will help you stick to your goals, rather than someone who will lead you astray;

5. Set a time limit – promise to meet someone at a certain time so that you don’t have time to shop around much.

For more ideas check out the national Extension “Small Steps to Health and Wealth” website at http://njaes.rutgers.edu/sshw/.

If you really meant it when you made that resolution, then it’s worth the little effort and advance planning to help you stick with it! After a while, your habits will shift toward the behavior you desire, but in the early weeks of setting a new pattern most of us will benefit by stacking the deck in our favor!

Reach Karen Slunecka at 605-626-2870 or karen.slunecka@sdstate.edu.