Set realistic goals for the new year and beyond

Consider making meaningful resolutions that you are most likely to keep.

The new year is here and, while many people set new goals, only a few actually achieve them. Setting simple, realistic goals can help you have more success in reaching them. In addition, remember to be flexible with your goals and yourself. If you get off track, that’s OK – but don’t give up!

Also, consider making meaningful resolutions that you are most likely to keep. To do that, focus on goals that really matter to you in the context of your entire future. It’s ok for your resolution to have short-term and long-term components.

Here are some common New Year’s resolutions and some tips to keep them:

  • Be more active – This is a critically important lifestyle habit that can impact your future health and quality of life. The key is to find an activity or two that you enjoy and start getting active. Make exercise a routine part of your day and week.

  • Eat more healthfully – Losing weight can be difficult, but especially as you get older because your metabolism slows. Instead of dieting, focus on healthful eating. Learn more about healthful cooking and start adding more fresh fruits and vegetables to your daily meals.

  • Travel more often – Many people often dream about the time when they can travel to desired destinations. If you are in a stage of your life right where travel is more realistic, now is the time to seek information about making travel more affordable. Travel agents and online travel sites can assist in finding deals and budget-friendly vacations.

  • Assess retirement savings – Being financially well is important as you age so you can maintain a desired standard of living and meet future needs. Plan ahead for these needs by budgeting for increasing health care costs, including out-of-pocket costs, and in-home and long-term care.

  • Volunteer for a cause – Local charitable organizations always are looking for willing volunteers. Check out the many ways to volunteer in your community that match your interests, skills or abilities. The emotional benefits of volunteering are worth it.

If what you want to accomplish seems overwhelming, break it up into smaller goals, and focus on just that. Also, remember to focus on yourself. Try not to compare yourself to others and their accomplishments.
For more information on health, nutrition and family finance, visit or contact Christina Rittenbach, Stutsman County Extension agent, at (701) 252-9030 or

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