What you need to know to keep your New Year's resolutions

VIDEO: What you need to know to keep your New Year's resolutions

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Setting goals can be easy, but the hard part is keeping them.

For Meg Branan, her New Year's resolution is to maintain and continue some of the changes she made last year to her eating habits and exercise. She works out at Pivotal Fitness in West Ashley.

"Cutting out the wine was a little bit of a vice for me," Branan said. "Exercise is easier for me than the dieting part."

Branan was able to stay on track and meet her goals. She lost about 20 pounds in six months.

If you can't seem to reach your goals on your own, Charleston Christian Counselor Tina Arnoldi has some steps that can help you.

Arnoldi is a licensed professional who offers workshops on goal setting. She she says the big problem people have is that they're looking at the big picture and not the small steps to get there. 
You first need to focus on your top three goals. 

"If you have eight things you want to change in your life over a year you're going to be so overwhelmed that you are not going to accomplish any of them," Arnoldi said.

Arnoldi says you need determine why you've chosen a goal. It has to be important enough to keep you motivated. 

"I think the 'why' is that you're not trying to meet someone else's goals," Arnoldi said.

She uses losing weight as an example. The 'why' in this case could be to avoid knee surgery, to become healthier, to lose weight or to avoid having to take certain medications.

Branan found her 'why' on her own.

"I just turned 40 last year and it was pretty intent on getting myself to a better place because I knew it was just going to be more difficult in years to come," Branan said.

Arnoldi says now it's time to turn your big picture goal into smaller steps. 

"What they're going to do to meet them and how exactly they are going to meet them," she said.

You can divide your plan into weeks and months. You can also break it down by days.

"You can't really measure exercise, but you can measure walk three times a week," Arnoldi said.

She also recommends for you to identity your obstacles or potential ones to come. One could be wasting too much time on social media rather than working towards your goal. 

Having an accountability partner can also help. 

"A lot of people are stuck where they are and sometimes they just need a little help moving forward," Arnoldi said.

Arnoldi also specializes in mental health counseling services through her Charleston Christian Counseling. She sees clients from various spiritual beliefs.

The counselor also recommends that you write down your goals and post them in place that you will see everyday as a constant reminder of where you want to be.

"At some point it's possible to just get that kick and just do it, never give up," Branan said. 

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