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Revamp your Resolutions: How to Set Great, Achievable Goals

Chiropractor Stillwater, Dr. Monica Veil

Dr. Monica is sharing all her favorite tips and strategies for setting great goals!

The New Year sparks motivation to set resolutions for the upcoming year. From wanting to lose weight, change your diet, save money or even learn a new skill. No matter what it is, the New Year brings about the idea of a “new year, new you”.

Let’s have some real talk about Resolutions

Research shows that over 60% of people set New Year’s resolutions, but only 8% are successful with following through with them. Studies indicated that over half the people that do set resolutions, “fail” or give up before January 31st.

Does this sound familiar?

January 1st: Ecstatic, motivated and can’t wait to re-invent yourself and your life.
January 31st: Fizzled out, disappointed and defeated

I know making a change is super important to you, which is why you created that resolution in the first place. Let’s revamp your resolutions so this will be year that you can look back and say, “I DID IT!”

The Do’s and Don’ts of Resolutions

I wanted to provide insight on three of the most common mistakes that are made when it comes to goal setting.  As well as how to set to great and achievable resolutions!

 1. Too Vague!

Across the nation, the top five resolutions that are set are: eat healthier, exercise more, lose weight, save more/spend less and learn a new skill or hobby. All of those are great goals, but what do they all have in common? They are extremely vague!

Non-specific goals are the number one reason resolutions fall apart. How will you know if you’ve made progress if you haven’t defined what “spending less” looks like? If you are unable to track how you’re doing, it’s super easy to lose interest and drop that resolution all together.

To combat this, make your resolutions specific. Let’s say your initial resolution is to exercise more. How can you be more specific? An idea could be signing up for a 5k run and put it in your calendar. Then plan out a training regimen that will get you ready for that event and keep track of what you’ve done. Not only will you be able to see the progress you’ve made, but it is MUCH harder to step away from a goal that you’ve invested so much time, energy and brain power into.

2. Negative Mindset!

The second most common error comes from the mindset behind the goals. Is the goal coming from a place of negativity? Is your resolution worded negatively?

Let’s use the example of weight loss. With that comes a lot of emotions surrounded around the belief that you “lack” something or that there is something “bad” about yourself. Weight loss can still be a goal of yours but how can we shift and refocus the mindset behind it. Ask yourself: What positive things will this resolution bring? What will I be able to do more of when I achieve this resolution? Maybe you’ll be able to do a full daddy-daughter dance without getting winded, run a 5K with your family or even lift 50lbs without a spotter.

Also, check in with how are you wording the resolutions. For instance, the resolution of “stop eating junk food.” Studies show that when we use negative wording, it triggers our stress response within our bodies and our brains will naturally focus on the negative part of it. So with the wording “quit eating junk food”, all your brain is thinking about is…you guessed it…junk food!

Instead, a way to combat this is to reword your resolution. Turn “stop eating junk food” in to “bring apples and peanut butter to work as a healthy snack.” Not only is that a positively worded resolution, but it’s specific too!

 3. Not What YOU Want!

The final common mistake is your resolution is one you believe you should do based on societal or peer pressure. The common ones that fall in to this trap are losing weight, trying a trendy new diet or making career changes.

Do NOT let friends, family or societal pressures push you towards goals that push you further from happiness. If a goal truly resonates with you, it should feel exciting and maybe a little bit scary. That is ok! Goals should NOT stress you out or make you question your beauty, worth and uniqueness. If you notice that you are feeling that way, then it’s time to tune in and dig deep to see if this is truly a goal you want or if you’re feeling pressured to want it.

Make the Magic Happen!

Now that we’ve covered the common mistakes, let’s bring it full circle to find out HOW you can conquer your goals from this point forward.

1. Write down your goals!

Did you know that action of writing it down in itself makes you twice as likely to follow through with that goal? Studies show that seeing the goal in your own writing creates a deeper emotional tie to that goal, which in turn makes it harder to give up on it. Seeing it helps remind you of what you are working towards in the first place. If you’re anything like me: if it’s not written down, it’s not going to happen!

2. Break it up into actionable steps!

Taking a vague goal and bringing it to a place of specifics makes you see progress much more quickly. Find a way to break the goal in to 10 steps or measurable ways to see that you’re moving along! Check back in on a regular basis to see the changes and progress being made. There is nothing more satisfying than seeing how much you’ve done in a short period of time.

 3. Pick the ONE most important step and master it!

Of those action steps, pick ONE that you are going to start NOW! Don’t fall victim to taking on too much at once. When you try to make all the changes in one swift motion, you’re going to feel like you’re failing if you can’t maintain it. Honestly, I don’t know a single person that can take on the whole goal all at once. Pick one thing and do it consistently. When you feel like you’ve mastered that step to the point where it’s easy to do, add the next action item to it and repeat the process.

4. Plan out the resolution in detail!

How will you make it happen? Write down each step of the process. One of my favorite activities is to do a mind map. It will help you break down your goals into short-term and long-term steps. It will also help you decide when you are going to make it happen by.

Never mind mapped before? Check out the free “roadmap” template from Passion Planner. I have been using this template personally for the past 5 years. The changes I have seen in my mindset around my goals, as well as the goal accomplishment has been life changing. To get your free roadmap template, visit:

5. Find an accountability partner:

Accountability partners are fantastic if you need an extra boost to help stay on track. For some, accountability partners can be scary because if they’re doing their job, they’ll call you out if you’re not sticking to your plan.

If that’s too intense for you, take your written goals and put them somewhere you can see them every day. Write them out on post it notes and stick them to your wall. Create weekly bite size goals or intentions and write them in your planner. This way, you can hold yourself accountable by looking back to see the progress you’ve made.

6. Lastly, give yourself some grace!

There will be days or weeks that you fall off the progress bandwagon and THAT IS OK!!!! All too often, when you feel like you’ve gone off track, you choose to throw in the towel and quit all together.

Give yourself some grace. There will be great days and horrible days. There will be some days that are completely half assed, but you still got it done. It’s ok to be all across the board when you’re trying something new—the worst thing you can do for yourself, your mindset and your goals it to give up.


“Without goals, and plans to reach them, you are like a ship that has set sail with no destination.”

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