By Haley Konfrst

It’s that time of year again. New Year, new you. Usually, you would be constructing a picture perfect plan to lose those 20 extra pounds, save up that vacation stash, or quitting sweets altogether. We’re here to tell you to knock it off – and to set your sights for more realistic goals.

The University of Scranton reports that only 8% of people achieve or follow through with their New Year’s goals. There could be many reasons someone stops following their goals. For example, you tell yourself you’re going to stop eating sweets cold turkey in order to lose some weight. Before this moment, you’ve been eating something sweet at least once a day. One month into your new year – you’re craving that slice of Chocolate Cake more than you’ve ever craved anything. You think to yourself “I’ve been so good, why not one slice?” You become discouraged because you’ve only lost 2 pounds, the cake tastes so good, and you ultimately give up because you no longer see the actual benefit in your goal. Here’s the issue; you didn’t plan your approach properly.

So how can you stay on track to achieve your goals, you ask? By setting some realistic, incremental goals to follow. Try a month-by-month elimination process where you start small and eliminate eating candy or carbonated beverages with large amounts of sugars, and move up to the desserts! If you’re planning to save money, set yourself a weekly, biweekly, or monthly amount that is obtainable within your budget. Even if that means it’s only $5.00. Come up with things you can eliminate that get in the way of your goals or that you don’t need.

People also have the emotional disadvantage of setting the finish line for their goals from January to January. Then what? You should always be setting goals that will continue beyond that initial finish line. If you’re quitting sweets and don’t manage to complete it by that next year, the good news is you spent the entire year conscious of your goal, you made moves to do it, and you now have a new year to keep going. Use the inspiration and emotional energy of the New Year to push you to achieve your goals!

Being realistic doesn’t mean you can’t be aggressive with your resolutions. Remember, you are the one in control. You know yourself best. So, Cheers! To the New Year, and new and improved you!