Monday, December 30, 2013

A New Year's Resolution is Something That Goes in One Year and Out The Other. 3 Easy Ways to Make Sure it Doesn't!

A New Year's resolution is something that goes in one year and out the other.  ~Author Unknown

Guest blogger: Dr Anita Sanz

Not everyone makes New Year's Resolutions...
there are some people who don't see the New Year
as a time for reinvention, recharging, reconditioning,
re energizing, reinvigorating, reorganizing.
It's just January.
But if you're one of those people who have made a resolution
to change something in 2014...
and, by the way, if you are one of those people,
you are TEN TIMES MORE LIKELY to make a significant
improvement in your life this year...
then this post may help you to do that!
 (Dr Anita Sanz has some great advice for us all, that will help us set goals and achieve them, thereby relieving stress and bringing comfort and confidence in the year ahead-Gilly)

We all have good intentions to change, and we can easily set goals.
As with almost everything in life, it's the follow-through that is hard!
If you want to improve your chances of seeing your good intentions
actually bear fruit in the coming year, here are 3 things you might
want to seriously consider doing.

#1  :  GET REAL
You heard me!
If your New Year's Resolutions include losing 100 pounds,
re-locating to Seattle, finding a new career, AND getting married
then you are on a path to failure, burnout, insanity, or worse.
(Is there worse?)

If you want to be really successful, pick the
most important thing on your list you want to do
and focus on that...and only on that...
until you've done it.
If it's April and you've already re-located to Seattle happily,
then you can get to work on that healthy lifestyle change.
Wouldn't you rather have one awesome goal achieved
by the end of 2014 than 5 or 6 failed intentions?

You need to use carrots (not real ones) to accomplish your goals:
Your goal is to walk for 20 minutes every day, and you put
a big :) on your calendar on the days you actually do it.
If you have 5 out of 7 days on your calendar that week with
:)  on it, then you get to reward yourself.  That’s a carrot!

You reward yourself until the health and physical benefits
of walking 20 minutes every day kick in and become their
own reward and motivation for you to continue.

Want to make this even more effective?  Add a stick!
A stick is a consequence you will enforce with yourself if
you don't get those 5  :)  on your calendar...make it something
you dread even more than getting out there walking...
like having to go through all your files for tax season.  Ugh.

Everyone I know who goes to a gym regularly dreads January
and can't wait until the end of March...know why?
Because everyone with all the good intentions to hit the gym
every week start in January and fizzle out by the end of March.
If you don't want to "fizzle out", then you're going to have to
have your eye on the ball come April 1.

Decide now...write it on your have quarterly
"board meetings" with yourself to evaluate how well you
are doing with your good intentions and your goals.

April 1st, July 1st, October 1st, and December 31st are
good days to sit down and keep yourself honest.
You’re the President of the Board!
Are you doing what you said you were going to do?
If not, why not?  What do you need to fix, change, ditch,
do instead?  Making quarterly adjustments works better
than fizzling out in March and feeling like "there just went
another year of New Year's Resolutions down the drain."

I leave you with this quote by Oprah Winfrey, because
I, too, believe that with every new day we have another
chance to learn more, do better, and "get it right"...
whatever that may mean for you in this New Year!
I invite you to join me in making one positive change
a week for a year in 2014.
Think of it as a big “Change-Along!”  
We’ll do it together and have some fun!
I’m wishing you all a wonderful, healthy 2014!

Dr Anita Sanz is a clinical psychologist in private practice with her husband in Deland, FL. She specializes in the treatment of women's issues, eating disorders, depression, chronic illness, and stress and anxiety disorders. She teaches Health Psychology and Abnormal Psychology at Stetson University. Dr Sanz has a new ebook out called A Year to Change.

You can Contact Anita in the following ways:
Website and blog:
Follow Anita on twitter @sanzplans
Visit her on Facebook:

Please leave a message for Anita or for me below about your experiences with setting and keeping to your goals. 

Happy new year to You all. Thank you for your tremendous support and feedback. Looking forward to bringing you comfort and joy in 2014.

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Please email me at or leave a comment on this post below. I'd love to have your feedback. 
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  1. Very encouraging to read! One positive change a week seems very do-able, as opposed to a total body and mind makeover on January 1st. Thank you!!

    1. So true Marie. Small steps seem much less overwhelming. Wishing you and your family and calm, peaceful new year. Gilly