How to keep your New Year's Resolution

Related Story

JEFFERSON CITY - Whether losing weight, kicking a bad habit or learning something new, a new year means a New Year's resolution. 

But according to a 2012 study only 8 percent of people achieve their New Year's goals. Laurel Kramer, a psychologist with St. Mary's Behavioral Health, said there are many reasons people come up short.

Kramer said one reason people fail is because they do not set realistic goals. She said often people set too many goals and others set too big of a goal. Another reason Kramer suggests people don't make it to their goals is because resolutions are about behavior change, which is a hard test to pull off at any time of the year.

"When we want to change something it's almost like pulling a Jenga block out from the bottom of the stack," Kramer said. "Often it has a cascading effect and that's more change than we banked on."

But what makes a good New Year's resolution? Kramer has some tips for those that want to beat the odds and reach their goals.

  • Start small: Kramer suggests starting with one specific, small goal.
  • Track it: She says logging your progress will help you stay on track.
  • Commit to five: “There will be bad days where you will feel like not doing whatever your goal is,” Kramer said. But she says if you can just get yourself over the first five minute hump you will feel better about yourself and you will be much more likely to keep at your goals.