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Making New Year’s Resolutions that You’ll Keep

Every year most people continue with a frivolous tradition that either becomes meaningless or discouraging. From diet and exercise to reading a book a week, we all seem to create New Year’s resolutions that set the standard too high or we give up before we even start. As a student getting medical assisting training, you may decide that your resolutions include studying more, getting to class on time or forming study groups to ensure the information you are learning sticks. Here are some ways to ensure success for those lofty goals.

Patricia Quigley, U.S. News contributor, has some great tips from the experts for following through on your goals for 2012.
“’If [a resolution] is merely an exercise designed to satisfy an external pressure, the importance diminishes and the issue can become moot,’ wrote Jacqueline Keller, founding director of NutriFit LLC, Los Angeles, and a licensed professional wellness coach, in an email.”

Michael Pantalon, assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at the Yale University School of Medicine explains that, “people fail due to three main reasons: They promote goals that are too big. They proclaim their goal to the wrong people, those who will pressure them too much or chastise them instead of those who will actually help them realize their goal. They often focus on how to accomplish goals versus why they want to accomplish them, ignoring the ‘reason behind the reason’ which could provide more powerful and lasting motivation.”

Srinivasan Pillay, assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School in Boston, Mass., says that biology plays a role in resolutions. Getting excited about what you want to achieve and forming a detailed plan in a quiet place helps to solidify your resolve. Simon A. Rego, assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Albert Einstein College of Medicine and director of psychology training at the Montefiore Medical Center also suggests that goals be “’smart,’ meaning specific, measurable, attainable, rewarding, and time-limited.”

I think these are great tips not just for New Year’s resolutions, but for any goals that you have in your life. Don’t just say that you’re going to go to medical assisting school, but determine when, where and how you will financially plan for this investment in your future. It’s also important to share this information with a confidant for accountability. Just think what we could accomplish if we focused on our goals!

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