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Expert: Resolve to Be Realistic in 2018

Exercise and diet are among the most common resolutions this time of year. (orchid/morguefile)
Exercise and diet are among the most common resolutions this time of year. (orchid/morguefile)
January 3, 2018

LANSING, Mich. – It's the start of a new year and many Michiganders have again made lofty resolutions, but what's the trick to making them stick this time?

Joseph Ferrari, a psychology professor at DePaul University in Chicago, has a few tips for making good on goals this year.

Ferrari, who studies chronic procrastinators, says perhaps the most important piece of advice is coming up with a realistic resolution instead of something big. Otherwise, people could be setting themselves up to fail.

"The problem people have is they set such superhuman goals that when they fail, they think they're subhuman,” he explains. “But no, we're human, and human means we're going to make mistakes."

Ferrari also suggests coming up with a goal that benefits other people rather than just yourself. Mid-year goals might be useful as well.

Ferrari’s tips have been gleaned from research into chronic procrastinators, a group he says makes up 15 to 20 percent of the population.

As can be the case with people who have unfulfilled resolutions, Ferrari says chronic procrastinators are good at coming up with excuses. But he says persistence is the key to achieving one's aspirations.

"So, you wanted to lose weight,” he states. “You ate the jelly doughnut, you ate a half a box. Great. That's life. Now the question is, what are you going to do moving forward? Are you going to eat the other half, or are you going to say, 'Now I'm going to cut back and try again?'"

Ferrari says social media is a powerful tool for holding folks accountable to their resolutions.

He suggests posting on Twitter or Facebook even modest goals, such as walking four blocks, or creating accountability groups with like-minded friends who will check up on each other's progress.

Mona Shand, Public News Service - MI