WILKES-BARRE, Pa., Dec. 15, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- It's not enough to make a New Year's resolution. If you're serious about setting goals for major life changes – from losing weight to finding a new job – you need to develop a plan. That's the advice from Edward Schicatano, Wilkes University associate professor of psychology and a certified life coach.
Schicatano offers the following tips for creating and keeping a resolution:
- Make your goal specific and measurable. Wanting to lose weight is too general. Instead, set a goal of losing a specific amount by a certain date. Focusing on a weekly goal keeps it specific and more attainable.
- Create a precise action plan. For instance, for weight loss, you might cut out eating desserts six days out of the week. Eat one less slice of pizza or drink more water. Similarly, if your goal is exercising more, specify how often you will exercise each week, on what days, and for how long.
- Use the technique of "chunking" to improve your chances of success. Chunking means taking small steps. Thinking about losing 40 pounds in a few months is a scary prospect. By contrast, thinking about losing one pound a week by cutting out one extra helping of food at each meal is a small step. People tend to be fearful when they imagine the long-term pain of reaching a large goal. Fear overrides the logical, decision-making part of the brain. By taking small steps, you bypass the fear response, and keep clear about what you need to do.
- Don't set a goal that depends on changing someone else. For example, a goal that someone else will fall in love with you this year is really out of your control. Stick with making goals that only involve you to make the changes.
- Log it. Keeping a journal of your changes will keep you to the task. Monitoring your behavior is one of the best ways to keep us motivated and focused on reaching our goals.
- Get a goal buddy. Sharing the experience with someone who has the same goal increases your chances of being successful. This is especially true when it comes to exercise.
And if you find yourself failing at your resolutions, you don't have to wait for another New Year. "Perhaps a resolution for March 1 is in order," Schicatano says.
CONTACT: Vicki Mayk, 570-408-4779, firstname.lastname@example.org
To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/planning-is-key-to-new-years-resolutions-that-work-according-to-wilkes-university-professor-300379525.html
SOURCE Wilkes University