Make resolutions you’ll hold on to

Published 10:04 pm Sunday, December 26, 2010

Make sure you make resolutions you'll actually keep. (Photo illustration/Jamie Sparacino)

By AMY JONES / Associate Editor

Although sometimes it’s hard to believe, those who make New Year’s resolutions are not destined to fail.

Lisa Phillips, who owns SimpleWorks and helps people organize their lives, said all it takes to keep those resolutions is a smart plan.

Phillips said it’s key to be realistic before setting your New Year’s resolutions.

“The first thing is to ask themselves, ‘what are they willing to do?'” Phillips said of those planning to make resolutions. “We all know what we should do, but what are we willing to do? We know we should lessen the calories we intake. However, if we’re not ready to give up that bag of potato chips, then we need to look at the reality of making a commitment of change.”

Phillips said once people are ready to actually set their resolutions, there are certain guidelines to follow. Resolutions should be specific and measurable, she said.

“Instead of saying ‘I’m losing weight,’ say, ‘I’m going to lose five pounds,'” she said. “You need to be able to measure it, because we can fool ourselves.”

Resolutions should also be attainable, and those making resolutions should set a timetable for each one.

“You can lose 10 pounds by Valentine’s Day. You probably can’t lose 70 pounds by Valentine’s Day,” she said. “And you can’t just say ‘I want to lose 10 pounds’ – well, by when?”

She also said it’s better to make short-term goals instead of long-term goals, because progress is easier to measure in the short term. Don’t make a resolution to lose 50 pounds in a year – rather, make a resolution to lose five pounds a month.

“We get bored and frustrated when things are not immediate,” she said. “Look at your long-term goals and break them down into short increments.”

Phillips said after making New Year’s resolutions, keeping them is a matter of seeing progress every day. Don’t procrastinate, or keeping resolutions will only get tougher.

“What did you do today to get you closer? Sometimes, it can be that you didn’t eat the potato chips,” she said. “Don’t just say, ‘I’ll just do it on Monday.'”

The most common resolutions Phillips hears are improving time management, losing weight and being more organized.

Phillips said no matter what, the important thing is not to give up.

“Start today. Have something where you can measure progress, and never give up,” she said. “If you get off track, you can get right back on track the very next hour or the very next day. When you get frustrated, that’s not a sign to quit.”

For more information about SimpleWorks, contact Phillips at 981-7733 or by e-mail at