3 Strategies for Keeping New Year Resolution

1/14/2016 - 12:18:28 PM

January 14, 2016 - Happy New Year!

It’s not too late to make resolutions for improvement. The year 2015 has gone and we’re halfway through January but no one has ever said starting something new has to begin exactly with the calendar year. Making the first step toward something you want to do can be started now just as well as any other day, and with just a few choices you can begin making a difference. If you want to set new patterns for your life it's not a matter of setting lofty goals, but making the small decisions that will start you on that road. With that in mind we have a few strategies to keep you on track to learning and growing in 2016. 

Don’t set yourself up for failure

This one is pretty easy to do by assuming you can start from somewhere nearer to the goal than you really are. Our brains can make pretty big leaps in about 2 seconds and land us on the goal before we come back to earth and realize that what our imaginations can do in a few seconds will take more like 4 months of little steps to accomplish. For example, if you set a goal of reading five more books in the New Year and optimistically start out with Proust or Vonnegut when you’ve never read anything like it before it’s going to be really hard to finish out your goal. Instead start with something a little lighter in tone and then move on to the harder things. It’s ok to start small.

Do identify the potential obstacles

 A proven way to fail is to make no plan and assume everything will be easy peasy, especially in setting up-among-the-stars goals. Then, along comes the first hurdle and you give up because you’re not sure how to carry on past whatever is hindering the way. Here’s a popular one for example: hundreds of thousands of people resolve to exercise more in the New Year and decide that they will get up every morning to work out. Around January 1st they get all excited about dusting off their gym membership or home gear and get up at 6 a.m a few mornings a week to work out and get whipped into shape. All goes well until about two weeks later when a particularly busy week hits post-holiday and they are exhausted from busy days, discouraged by the freezing weather, and would rather stay below the covers. Out go all the good resolutions and they decide to go tomorrow, when the cycle will repeat. Around February they’ll realize that they only worked out about 5 times and give up defeated and frustrated.

Solution: identify the obstacles you might run into or that caused you to fail previously and figure out what might help get around them and keep going. Maybe it’s carving out a different time of day that works for you, getting a night-time routine going that will help you get to bed earlier or sleep better, or by simply laying out work out clothes the night before and getting into them before doing anything else. With a plan of action it’s going to be easier to get around the hurdle to keep going to the goal you set. Also remember, those five times you did work out count! 

Do Refresh Goals

Take time once a month or quarterly to adjust what is working for you. There are times when one way is the best way, but most of life doesn’t fall into that cut and dried, cookie-cutter category. Take walks for exercise if it works best for you, or eat a dessert a week if cold turkey is too much for you. The trick is not to do what everyone else is doing but to find what works for you that will still benefit you. Teach yourself to enjoy something so that you will want to continue it because the things that our bodies and minds perceive as punishment are going to be things we’ll have a really hard time continuing so it’s worth that time it takes to learn a new habit to make sure it’s something that you won’t mind doing. Some people hate coffee, so why learn that habit of a cup every morning? Others love it and will want to continue it but perhaps curtail their coffee drinking to maybe two cups a day versus three. Find what works for you.

Now on the to the good stuff.. because fun food isn't just for holidays!

Raspberry Cream Cheese Coffee Cake

Ingredients: COFFEE CAKE
Serves 16

2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup cold butter, cubed
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup sour cream
1 egg
1 teaspoon almond extract


1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1/2 cup Kauffman's Seedless Raspberry Jam


1/2 cup sliced almonds


1. Combine flour and sugar and cut in the butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs; reserve 1 cup crumb mixture. 
To remaining crumb mixture add baking powder, soda, salt, sour cream, egg, and almond extract and blend well. Spread the batter over the bottom and up 2" the sides of a greased and floured 9" springform pan (batter should be 1/4" thick on sides). 

2. In small bowl beat the cream cheese, 1/4 cup of sugar, and an egg until smooth. Pour over batter in pan and carefully spoon jam evenly over cheese filling. 

3. In another small bowl combine reserved crumb mixture and almonds, sprinkle over top. Bake at 350° for 55-60 minutes or until cream cheese filling is set and crust is deep golden brown. Cool 15 minutes and removed sides of pan. Serve warm or cool, and do cover and refrigerate leftovers. 

Serve and enjoy!

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