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How to make New Year's resolutions actually work

Holistic Physician Dr. Bradley Nelson joined New Day NW to talk about why resolutions often fail and shared a different way to approach effective change. #newdaynw

Around every new year, we make resolutions and use mantras like "new year, new me" and "this is going to be my year." So how are those resolutions going? 

Often when we make New Year's resolutions, we start January 1st, but that's just an arbitrary date. Plus, it's common to drop the resolution a few days in or after one slip up. 

For a change to be effective, we have to be ready to change — and readiness is a process that takes time.

Dr. Bradley Nelson, a Holistic Physician and author of the book "The Emotion Code" joined New Day NW to talk about how we can make meaningful resolutions at any time of the year.

Dr. Nelson talked about how we can use S.M.A.R.T. goals to achieve those resolutions.

S.M.A.R.T. goals:

  • Specific: A S.M.A.R.T. goal is specific and narrow. You could set a goal to make more money, but that is vague. "More money" could be a dollar or ten cents. If you set a goal to earn an extra ten thousand dollars, that is specific and easier to plan.
  • Measurable: The goal needs to be measurable or metric-driven. Based on metrics, you should know with certainty that you have achieved it.
  • Attainable: It needs to be something that is not impossible to do, but it should stretch you. When you set goals, the idea isn't necessarily that you get to one hundred percent, but if you can get to eighty percent, you are doing well.
  • Relevant: Your goals should line up with your values and with your long-term objectives.
  • Time: S.M.A.R.T. goals are time-based and have a time frame. By a certain date, you are going to do a certain thing.

An additional tip about goals is having accountability. If you set goals for yourself and they are only known to you, then the chances of you achieving them are a lot less than if you go to your friends and ask them to hold you accountable.

Segment Producer Rebecca Perry. Watch New Day Northwest 11 AM weekdays on KING 5 and streaming live on KING5.com. Contact New Day.   

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